Once I get started , songwriting comes pretty easy to me and I’ve found that composing lyrics is a natural intuitive process that draws heavily on my poetic ability.
Over the years I’ve written a lot of poetry and I’ve found that my poetry is many times, just a song waiting to be put to a melody.
But, I have a couple of problems that have become fairly significant roadblocks.
First of all … my strong suite is in writing lyrics. I’m much less adept at coming up with compelling melodies. I’ve got tons of words, just waiting for the right tune. I probably should work with someone else, but I’ve never been much of a collaborator, feeling that a song is a work of art and drawing from the inspiration of another artist to finish the work has never particularly appealed to me.
Secondly, for whatever reason, I currently seem incapable of writing any songs that are generally up-beat and positive. Even the songs I write that are reasonably optimistic end up being bittersweet and a bit cynical. Right now, I just cannot seem to write fluffy, feel good songs.
For me, writing a song requires that I draw heavily from how I am feeling at the time. This is okay. I’m not trying to produce songs-by-the-number nor to write specifically to please others. And really, if my feelings were not legitimate, “The Blues” would not have become such a popular musical genre. But, still … I’d like to work from a broader palette. While composing songs that make people think, occasionally I’d also like to write songs that make people want to tap their feet, sing along, and even laugh! So far, I’ve come up dry … so I’ve taken what is for me a big step.
I’ve joined a local songwriter’s association in hopes of expanding my horizons gaining some insights into the craft of songwriting. If nothing else, this should be interesting. I hope my skin is thick enough to accept criticism. I believe I’ll be fine as long as long as it’s constructive criticism.
I hope that the members of the group know the difference between being honest and being brutally honest. I think I’m ready for the honesty … but the brutality, I could probably do without.
If things get too bad, I suppose I can always write a song about it …