In todays market, songwriters usually have to perform their own songs, because most singers have been advised to write their own songs. In my opinion, music was better when songwriters wrote and singers sang!
Writing a Song
This is very difficult! Apart from creating an original melody, you need some good lyrics and a good musical arrangement. This takes up a lot of time, because you have to practice continually until everything sounds right.
Now that you think the song is right you either have to record it, or perform in public.
In the Studio
Unless you want a mediocre recording, you will have to go into a recording studio.
More to Learn About Music
So you learned how to sing, you've learned about music, you've learned how to write a song and perform in public. Now you have to learn about the recording studio.
The Music Producer
In the studio there will be at least one person and they usually call themselves a "Music Producer". Their job is to record your song and offer advice about the recording. It is your job to tell them what you want and decide what the final recording sounds like.
We've all heard that there is no substitute for experience, but you will have to learn how to get the most out of the studio and get on with the producer.
A New Skill
Even if you use home recording equipment, you will one day, probably need to go into a proper studio. This is a new skill that needs to be learned.
Choosing a Recording Studio
The studios that I have used cost between £30 to £60 an hour. They all had a large mixing desk and used Cubase as the main computer program.
Choosing a Music Producer
I have worked with 3 producers so far and they all have similar ideas. I found the best approach was to find out how they usually record a song and work with them until it sounds right. If you try to change their ideas, it will take up a lot of studio time. So finding a suitable producer is essential and once you find them, stick with them.
The Complete Singer Songwriter
When you have your record and its either on the Internet or in the shops, you will most probably have to perform in public.
In the studio, mistakes will cost you time and money. A public performance is different. Everybody makes mistakes, even me. Learning how to cover up your mistakes is the key to performing in public. Many good performers can make the most out of a mistake, simply by force of personality. Or put another way, simply make a joke of their mistake and get the audience on their side.
Performing in public is another skill that needs to be learned. If you become a big star, you will have to give interviews. In my opinion, there is too much to learn and I still believe that singers should sing and writers should write, and some of the other jobs need to be delegated too.