Why I write songs

Millions of songs have been written and I imagine millions more are written every day. So why do I think it’s a good idea to add a few of mine to the mix?

Most importantly, it’s a way for me to be creative; like air, water or food – it is essential to my happiness. And all I need is my guitar, a piece of paper and a pen. In fact, I don’t really need my guitar. So it’s something I can do anywhere at any time; portable creative expression. It’s also a way for me to be more in touch with my feelings and, if I have a place to share my songs, express those feelings with others. That saves me hundreds of dollars in therapy sessions; which can be very helpful too.

Shortly after the release of my debut album (which happens to be my only album) a friend remarked, “Your music gives me a structure to feel my feelings.” That was music to my ears. Music has such a powerful healing affect that if I had my life to live over, I might study to be a music therapist.

Another great reason to write songs is that I get to dare greatly; to be open to the possibility that I might fail. I get to discover that when it comes to learning and growth as a songwriter, finding out what doesn’t work is just as important as finding out what does. So with each new song, I can try a new and unusual chord like F flat major demented, or sing in a very different style (operatic anyone?), or write a lyric that is fresh and original. In fact, I recently challenged myself to write a song about a topic almost too painful to sing about and to write it for voice and metronome. From the feedback I received at a Songwriters’ Roundtable, it worked! So, I continue to write. How often, how many, or how well? These are not the questions I ask. It’s just this – do I write songs? Yes.

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