How hard is it to write a freakin' song?
That is a question I've been asking myself a lot lately. Still no actual answer to share, sorry for that, but I've really been exploring it. I have not written a song in a solo capacity since "Men Are From Mars," written in maybe 2011? I mean, it's been a while. I haven't really done any writing to speak of with Walt (or anyone else) either since our writing ventures on "Take Time." Really, it's been a while. So I'm sort of stuck wondering, how do I do this again? I've always been a writer with lightening-strike type inspiration, and when it strikes, I can't focus on anything until the song is out. I sit at the piano or with the guitar and just start playing, and singing and writing. It all comes out in one lump sum. And then I don't typically revisit it in a way intended for tweaking or rewriting. I'm just done with it. But over the years, I've learned a little bit about songwriting that I hadn't known before. I learned mostly from my friends, my experiences and a little from books, and I've wondered if I was doing it wrong. Maybe I should take a more business-like approach, sitting down before the lightning strikes and plunking away until something starts to take shape. Maybe I should try the co-writing thing again, using others' time and ideas to help motivate me. Maybe I need to pick a theme, maybe write a song about my favorite tv character (hello Frankie Bergstein), or about a great book or movie I've enjoyed. Don't get me wrong, I believe that there is no wrong way to "art," but is there a better way to write a song than the way I've been doing it? Le sigh. Where is the lightening? Did it lose track of me as I've aged? Am I too cautious to let it strike nearby? Did I lock it up somewhere inside of me so that I could live a quieter life, one without lightening strikes at 2am when everyone else in the house is sleeping and there's nowhere to get it out? Maybe all of the above, right?
The advice I would give to someone who is not me, is to just do it. Don't worry about what comes out, just put in the time, open your heart and let.it.flow. But how many people are inclined to take good advice when it's offered? Still waiting for that lightening.