I’ve been pondering a New Year’s post since mid-December. It was going to be one of those, “Things I Learned Before I Turned 40” or “Things to do in 2014” or blah, blah, blah… We’ve all seen enough of those, haven’t we?
When I made the decision to put myself out there as an author, one of the things I had to consider was how to brand myself. Was I mostly a writer? Father? Husband? College professor? Musician? No, don’t put musician in there. Agents and publishers want you to be a writer and highlight the writerly-type stuff you do.
The reality is I’m all those things, and music has always been a priority. That’s why I kept the music links on the page. I didn’t want this to be some façade. I don’t have patience for that. There’s more to all of us than what we put on Facebook, even though Facebook is the ultimate front.
We spent the holidays in Arizona and my good friend (and brother-in-law) told me about an article he’d read about Bon Schneider and his “Song Game.” Each week, members must submit a new song based on the prompt (members of his group include Patty Griffin, Ben Folds and Jason Mraz). I was intrigued and immediately went to Facebook to gauge interest from my musician friends. My writing has taught me that creativity breeds more creativity. The more I write, the easier it is to write, and the more ideas come to me. Why not apply that to songwriting?
I’m happy to say we’ve completed our first week (Our group is the Weekly Songwriting Catalyst) and we’ve got some amazing songs so far. I’ve always been one of those songwriters who waited for inspiration to write, and it netted me 2-3 songs per year—maybe. This will force me to write at least 50 songs this year. Most will probably be crap, but I might find a few gems, and I’d bet anything that inspiration will strike more often.
I’m going to post my weekly song, whether it’s good, bad or completely embarrassing. Why not? It will help remove the façade.
Here’s my first submission based on the prompt, “Truth in Advertising.”