If you want to become a songwriter here are some considerations to consider before considering:
Move to a hip place like Austin Texas, Athens, Ga, Nashville, TN.
Get a tattoo or two. Piercings are good. Black fingernail polish is cross gender now. Colored, tinted , long on side short on the other "hair cesses" seem to attract a fan base. Wear different clothes from the past, obtained from dumpster diving the Good Will discards. Where DO you guys find these designer rejected outfits?
Muster up all the angst available. Sing with conviction and feeling. It doesn't matter if you can play well, you can hire those who can. Record at home, have your "significant other", a budding graphic artist, do the artwork...find one of the cheapo CD duplicator companies, and you're now an official singer/songwriter.
There, you have it.
Now, the hard part. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. Buy an old van and hit the road to every college campus and coffee house in 48 states. then on to Europe. They are very receptive to Independent Racket over there.
Here are a few observations made on my limited, but monetarily unsuccessful musical Odyssey:
I compare artist (all genres) to farmers...they feed our souls, but the middle man gets it all.
How to be a successful songwriter is no secret, it's just not known.
Singer/Songwriters are poor until they "come out". A Silver Eagle bus is a giveaway. It can be bought borrowed or leased. The fan base increases when the blacked out on black bus rolls into town.
What ever it takes to make a buck...mostly youth and enthusiasm...which can be overcome by old age and deception. All the middle men who feast on the efforts of others. They call themselves producers, and were in a 1962 Ford Econoline 40 years ago. Persevere, you'll get a BMI or ASCAP job of your dreams!
So, take heart, ye valiant songsters, keep going till you meet the writing on the wall...and take the advice of a successful singer?/songwriter...blow up your TV, throw away your paper.go to the country, build you a home, etc. ( I especially like peaches.)
Personally, I took his advice. NO MORE HOME HOME ON THE ROAD FOR ME!