One Size Does Not Fit all

Over the past couple weeks I’ve been addicted to a podcast called, “And The Writer is…”.

It’s a new podcast to me but the show recently launched their fourth season.

Ross Golan, BMI’s 2016 Songwriter of The Year, gets to know songwriters that have written for some of the biggest names in music.

In short, I love it.

As a creative person myself, there is a lot to be learned from other creatives regarding how they approach the process and how they get their ideas flowing!

Listening through many of the episodes, I’ve come to the realization that everyones creative process is different.

This seems to be a recurring theme in my posts because last week I made the point that there isn’t usually only one way of getting things done.

Turns out, songwriting is no different.

Some people get up and write one or multiple songs per day.

I tried that.

I failed.

A song a day could be realistic for those who are strictly songwriters, but when you are an independent artist you wear a lot of hats.

Most artists have a manager, business manager, lawyer, publicist, booking agent, etc. The list seems to be never ending with each role being entitled to a piece of the pie.

When your pie isn’t big enough to share, you figure out a way to cover the roles yourself!

For me, I’ve found that my songwriting tends to come in waves.

It starts with me feeling like I have something to say.

Similar to how you can usually feel a cold coming on before it actually takes you out!

I’m not sure what is going to be written, but I know SOMETHING is going to be written.

Hopefully that doesn’t sound too weird, but when I get that feeling I know that I need to find some time during the day to sit down and write.

This doesn’t mean I write a full song, although sometimes that happens and It is a wonderful feeling.

Most of the time, I get a rough idea out and then come back to it over time.

When it comes to creative tasks, I don’t work well under pressure. The minute a deadline enters the equation, my brain shuts down and instead of feeling free to create, I’m more consumed by the worry of not being able to meet the deadline.

However, if I go into the studio to record vocals and only have a couple lines to finish, the pressure of being there and wanting to knock it out before I leave usually pushes out the lines that I need to finish the song. I actually just learned this recently when I was in the process of finishing up one of the songs that will be on my next project!

The creative process is weird.

Given my earlier pie reference, I’m going to run with another baking analogy.

Baking is very precise. You are given a set recipe to follow, and as long as you follow the recipe the end result shouldn’t vary much.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a recipe for being creative.

The fact that there is no recipe for the process could scare you away, so lets go to the drawing board.

Picture a beautiful, large field full of the best soil perfect for planting a garden. Someone has already placed tons of seeds in the garden and your job is simply to care for the garden and make sure it is watered and well kept. In order for a garden to grow, one of the necessities is time.

Let's say that each of the seeds planted in the garden is a creative idea. Your job is simply to water the ideas. A garden doesn’t reach its full growth over night. It takes time and lots of care. Sometimes idea/thoughts/visions are the same: they could take years to develop. But every day that you water and pour into those little seeds is one day closer to seeing a fully blossomed flower.

I realize the picture I’ve painted is a little cheesy, but I spent way to much time trying to make sure it made sense that I was too deep into the soil to back out…

Keep singing (and being creative)

Chris

Proverbs 16:9


Chris Jamison