Songwriting

I want to share a story about songwriting that surprised me from a few years back. I've been writing songs since I was a teenager and it this has been a source of joy and a compelling desire throughout my life.

I wanted to know so badly how songs got written and when I was young my desire was so strong that without knowing I just tried and somehow wrote one, and then another.

Fast forward through the years I wrote a lot of songs, I was starting bands. I knew songwriting was a craft and that it required many skills. I got to a place where I trusted that I could write songs and that lyrics and melody would show up, but I didn't know how to communicate that to others.

I attended songwriting and co-writing workshops and the mystery widened and deepened! How could I write with others? I found that I could without understanding how it worked.

At a wonderful artist retreat I so wanted an example of how to share this joyful experience and so I asked the teacher if he could give me an exercise. I was there with my duo partner and before we agreed to try the exercise another actor attending said that he also wanted the experience of writing a song. So the three of us agreed to try the exercise one evening.

I have to admit I felt a bit defeated going into it. I had a sense of how it might go with just my duo partner, but now with a wild card third person it probably wouldn't work.

We followed the steps. We followed the instructions. As each step got completed my thoughts were increasingly negative. "This can't produce much of anything. We haven't written together before."

My mind started searching for recovery options. "Well this will at least produce something and later it can be converted into a song." I was protecting myself in advance so that I wouldn't be too let down.

As we approached the last part of the exercise I thought let's just give one more push. What is the harm in allowing for creativity to flow. After all this is just an experiment.

In the last part of the final step the brainstorm of creativity and ideas kicked in and the ideas were interesting and the ideas were arriving faster than we could capture them. It had actually really worked!

We shared the result with the workshop participants and our teachers and the response was pure delight! The resulting song was so clearly something that had emerged from the three of us and it was so different from what I had written before.

Based on this I wanted to see if I could share my memory of how this exercise goes and make it accessible to anyone who wants to write a song. I've written this up for folks to try it out. There are no special requirements or prerequisites. At the end of the article I have a link so you can hear the song that resulted from our three way co-write!

If this resonates with you and you are also a curious creative soul I would so love it if you would share your results with me and let me know your experience!


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