It’s a curious thought – how many songs does a songwriter have inside him/her – waiting to come out – waiting to be born?
I’ve been fortunate – up to now; I’ve never suffered from “writer’s block”. It does seem like such a terrifying debilitating disease, doesn’t it – the freezing of one’s creativity. Horrible thought!
Of course, not having writer’s block doesn’t mean that everything you write will be wonderful – I can certainly attest to that, but just the simple fact of getting a song written and finished is, in itself, a massive accomplishment in my book. The birth of a song is a rather miraculous deed in my mind. How, out of thin air, can come/emerge this thing, this noise and organization of notes and harmony out of the ether, out of the void. Pretty damn weird – this human need to express oneself in sound, melody, lyric … to formulate a piece known simply as a song … a communication of spirit, I suppose, an organized utterance – made for the ears!! … and for the soul.
For me – even at this rather mature stage of my career – I feel filled up, absolutely chock-full – even engorged to bursting point, with songs waiting to be given life. My challenge has always been to finish the songs I’m on … rather than to let the next one spew forth. A nice problem to have, you may say, but sometimes for me it causes a traffic-jam of songs waiting for their moment in the sun. I can get lost in the barrage of ideas pushing to get out! It requires diligence to stay focused on the songs at hand, and to hold back the deluge at the floodgates.
There is not a better feeling in the world than finishing, wrapping-up a song. It’s like putting a frame on a picture or painting – suddenly the work is completed … DONE!!! – Sewn up – locked down – ended – DONE!!! Lovely feeling. And only the author can really say when his or her work is done – that’s just the true law of creative work. It’s a powerful motivating force to a songwriter to get out what he knows is fermenting, brewing inside him. Will the next song be “the one”? an undeniable gem of excellence? the special tune for which the world has been waiting? That’s largely what keeps us going … not knowing if the next “child” that is born of melody, rhythm and harmony is to be unique, built to last and inspire … to generate reverence and accolades.
It’s a wonderful task – the task of allowing your creative juices to flow. But I do call it a task, because you have to constantly be working, striving, sympathetically building the architecture of a song. Very, very, very rarely does a song appear that doesn’t require some measure of “mothering” or nurturing of sorts.
But again, how many songs do I have inside me – that I can get out before kicking the proverbial bucket? It’s obviously un-measurable. I’m satisfied to know and feel that there are a lot more songs inside me – straining, begging, for their liberation.
“Without music life would be a mistake”
– Friedrich Nietzche