July

I've written about 12 songs since I last posted. My approach is all about volume - write it, get it at least sort of done, get it evaluated, play it out, revise it, throw it away or revise it some more or put it in a mental drawer until I decide to take it out again. Unfortunately I bob like a sad little balloon on the opinions of others, and if the evaluators hate a song I get all Stockholm syndrome and hate it too for a while. Bad song! Bad! 

I had a minor crisis in April, when I had a chance to play a few songs out and realized I didn't have a single song I felt like singing. That was partly because my guitar playing was both sucky and unsatisfying. What's the difference, you ask? I don't know, except I guess it's like when you can finally ride a two-wheeler and you might be wobbly but you are moving forward and not falling over. My playing is less wobbly and I can grab most every chord I know, pretty much sorta when I need it, so I can have fun playing. Is there still suckitude, yes, why yes there is, but I'm having more fun and caring less about what people will say.

Anyway, I realized I needed to write some things for me, and tell myself they aren't commercial. So I have those, but I entered them into a contest and they didn't do well. This is not fair to the songs. I am not a good mother to my songs. I need to stand by the ones that speak from my heart and not subject them to contests.

Contests are stupid. Contests are great when my songs get recognized. "Get recognized" is my way of saying "come in less than absolutely grand prize first." I've been fortunate with the recognition, which is some actual placements and a blizzard of honorable mentions. I am most honorably mentioned, and that's not so bad. Contests are a bad habit, a vice that I need to give up. Except I love certificates. I'm like those characters who went to see the Wizard of Oz. He didn't really give them anything but a bunch of things that represented the things that they wanted. That he could not give.

I really, really want to find co-writers. I have had some co-writing experiences where I steamrollered the other writer, mostly because I could not live with what they wanted to do lyrically. I have been turned down, or blown off, a couple of times by local people I know. It's so much like dating except I have to do the asking. Men, you have my sympathy. Anyway, I wish I could find a co-writer who writes lyrics the way I do, so that I don't hate everything they write. I need more practice so I can learn to go with what someone else writes, even if it seems weak. It's probably like dating in that I need to become the right person along with trying to find the other right person. 

Oh and I'm writing a play. That's a thing. It's a relief, since everyone says my songs sound like they're show tunes anyway. Might as well just write some show tunes. I have tried hard not to have eighth-note chords on 2s and 9s and mighty waves of dotted quarter notes and quarter note triplets, my go-to showtuney musical things. But it's nice to be in a genre where it would be okay if I broke down and used those. It's fun writing a play and also really scary. I can't believe I sat down and wrote plays when I was 19 years old and never stopped to think about whether I knew what I was doing. At least it brings balance to my life - I have songs that no one in Nashville wants to hear, and I have other songs that people in Virginia are very impatient to hear. 

Other than that there isn't much going on.

Comments

Charlie Katt said…
Hi :) I totally agree with a lot of what you say. I get very "protective" of my songs and I guess that's the reason why I never feel like co-writing with anyone. I guess I'm better at editing someone else's song?? I have done that with someone once. Never got too far though.

Is your play a musical (I'm assuming)? Cause, guess what? I'm writing one too! I've never done it before though, so I'm starting with the music. It's about a voodoo doll who wants to be a real girl. Like Pinocchio but in a girl way I guess. Anyway, I'll probly see you at SMSWF!

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