How do I use music influences in my own songwriting without plagiarizing?

Plagiarism is outright copying a song and claiming it as your own. That is word for word, note for note copying. You never want to do that. Music influences help inspire songwriters in a way they become a type of mentor. As in your case you probably have several music influences, what makes every songwriter songs original is your own life experiences. Everyone has a unique life to live. When you combine your personal life experience along with the influence of 3 or 4 other songwriters mixed in, you will begin to develop you own personal voice.

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    When you have progressed beyond the point of learning how to write a song, it’s time to redefine your goals. Here is a suggestion for your new set of goals. Compile a list of all the publishers, producers, record companies, A&R people, artists, and entertainment attorneys. You will base this list on the newsletters and periodicals. ‘Trade papers’ that you subscribe to. Keep this list in your computer.