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By Selena, 21/11/2017, Category:Confidence and Mindset
Here I'm hopping briefly onto a different topic to normal, i.e. songwriting not singing. If you're a songwriter, or you have some other creative passion, I'm pretty sure this will tickle your fancy. When I was in my twenties, I wrote loads of songs. You could say I had 'beginner's luck' in this field. Songs just seemed to drop out of the air and fall into my lap - with 6 verses and a chorus, fully-formed, all rhyming. All I had to do was find the chords. Not all of them came like that, but when the songwriting energy lit up, the creation just flowed...sometimes lyrics would pop out and I'd 'find' a tune for them; sometimes I would come up with a tune and then the lyrics poured into it. It was so easy, it was such a buzz! I literally felt like I was 'channelling' my songs at that time. I loved it. And other people loved my songs too. But time passed and my life moved on... from footloose and exciting...(as I travelled the country playing music with a band) to more plodding, and focussed, with more work and responsibilities (as I set up a low-impact community, built a home, had babies and established a salad business)...and my songwriting dwindled to a tiny trickle. It was a few years before I looked up and realised, 'hey, I don't seem to be a songwriter anymore!?' And although I wanted to write more, songs didn't just 'turn up' like they had done before. So I didn't know what to do. It seemed like the right 'conditions' had gone. I was disappointed and frustrated. Turn the clock forward a few years and I'm learning pretty well that lesson that 'Life doesn't just happen to you, you make your life happen'. So the next time I felt an aching to make songwriting a big part of my creativity, I stopped to think about it. Here's what I said to myself: ~ Ok so I want to make this happen. ~ SO what does it take to be a songwriter again? ~ My beginner's luck came and went ~ So what needs to follow on from that? And I came up with some ideas: ~ Songwriting doesn't always have to be spontaneous and inspired ~ I can work at it ~ What kind of work do I need to do? 1. Some structured stuff 2. Some aimless doing eg flow-writing 3. Don't expect it to always be great 4. Put songwriting time in my diary ( As Thomas Edison said, Genius is 1 % inspiration, 99% perspiration) So for the last few months I have been giving myself 1) Varied structured exercises and 2) Making time for flow writing. It's fun inventing the structured exercises. By having a focus or limitation it takes away the inner blankness that comes with a 'blank sheet'. A few examples are: ~ Find an unusual rhyming scheme and fit some words into it; ~ Find a song I like the rhythm of and create a different tune to it; ~ Explore a specific key eg the Dorian mode and jam around in it; ~ Give myself a very specific 'song brief' ; ~ Write a list of things that either inspire me or make me mad and brainstorm keywords on each; ~ Play with unusual chord sequences and start humming along to them. And when I do flow writing I just keep writing for say, 3 pages, and give myself permission to write anything, with no particular aim. And what happens is that a lot of rubbish comes out and here and there some gems apppear, and then I take them, feel inspired, and build them into some lyrics. The great things about doing this stuff are that: - all this really gets my juices flowing, and lots of new songs have emerged - - I use this approach to generate material by 'turning the hand of the grinder' as it were, but then out of this, often some small nugget leads into a stream of inspiration - - I REALLY enjoy it , when I make time for this, it's like treating myself! - In fact in the last 2 weeks I wrote 5 new songs! (Granted, I was on holiday in the mountains, so I did have extra time for it!) So my conclusion from the original question is: From Beginner's Luck to...Tilling the Soil, which then gives a Harvest. When you till the soil, fertilise it, sow seeds...new plants grow. When you nurture your skill, talent, passion and inspiration, steadily, determinedly, you reap the rewards of new creativity. Does this resonate with you? Is this process happening in some area of your life? Please tell me, I'd love to hear your stories.
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