Way back, at the first of what NSAI offers in their series of song camps, I was a bit timid.
I’d been writing songs, but honestly, I didn’t hang with other writers.
I spent most of my life digging the groove of tunes.
Couldn’t even tell you what the lyrics were.
I kind of paid attention to songs like Stairway to Heaven, because it was a slow tune, and every guitarist knows how to play that one.
But it sounded like they pinned a dictionary to the wall and threw drunken darts at it as to which words they’d put in it.
Made no sense to me.
But, I could play that beautiful guitar riff, right?
It didn’t take me long to realize I was waaaaaay behind when it came to lyrics.
When I got into writing, there were all these writers talking about John Prine songs.
How Steve Goodman said something in a song.
Steve and John who?
I was lost.
I grew up on Rush, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, BTO, Styx, and those types of bands.
How I came to write the stuff I do is a wonder. But anyway…
At that camp, I felt even more lost than I was.
But… I wanted to write songs.
I’d write some pretty pathetic lyrics before I got serious about writing.
Again, I was mostly interested in the music, groove, melody, and feel of the song.
That’s all I grew up on.
Thankfully, I lost all that early songwriting work. Well most of it anyway.
If anyone got a hold of that early stuff, we’d be talking blackmail territory for me to get it back and burn it.
At that song camp there was one thing, …
Two things actually… which freed me as a songwriter.
The first was when a pro writer got up in front and talked about her method of coming up with melodies.
Play guitar and just hum or mumble out nonsense words, vowel sounds, and gibberish.
I spent the whole time at camp trying to hide the fact I did that.
I prayed no one would ask me how I write.
And here’s a Nashville writer telling me to do what I already do.
And, I don’t have to be embarrassed by it anymore.
Man, I can’t tell you how freeing it was for me at the time.
The second thing was when another presenter said two things.
First he said, “Nobody will ever belief in your music like you do. Don’t rely on others to lift you up in your writing.”
The other thing he said was, “Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t’ need music in this world. Or that your job is unimportant. This world would be barren without art, and music is art.”
That was a pivotal day for me as a writer.
This kind of relates to the intuition point in an earlier e-mail.
Do what your intuition says.
It might not be what others do, but it might not be wrong either.
Allow for growth, learning, and insight in writing.
But you are the writer you are, because you are you.
Learn from others. Take what works and use it. What don’t, shelf it for now, it might be valuable down the road.
Next time you are driving through Starbucks or get one of those fancy drinks.
When you take that first swallow, realize the cost of that mouthful of liquid is probably more than what it is for one day of Tune Booster.
I can guarantee you the entire fancy schmancy coffee costs more than the entire month. Probably twice as much.
And you know where that coffee is by day’s end.
But we’re still here.
Might want to check it out: https://www.tunesmithtips.com/tunebooster/