SAC: Songwriting & Blogging Challenge
I’ve joined the online course with Pat Pattison of Berklee School of Music through The Songwriters Association of Canada. I have a musician friend, Jess Meider, who also lives here in Beijing and she was a student of Pat’s at Berklee. She has often passed on his songwriting wisdom in casual conversation. I decided I should see for myself! What’s more, I can do a course of this sort from my house across the world where I am a full-time mother to my 14-month old daughter.
For the first blog in this challenge, we’ve been asked to answer the following questions:
- Where are you in your songwriting journey?
- What do you hope to gain from participating in this challenge?
In terms of my songwriting journey, if you picture it as a road, I’d have to say that I’m sitting on a bench flanking the road, face turned up to the sky, enjoying the sunshine. The road stretches out behind me and includes endless touring, eleven albums, and many more songs that never made it on albums. This past year, though, I had a baby. I had to slow down. I had just released my 11th album in November and gave birth to her on January 2nd, 2012. Fourteen months later and I only have two new songs, two half-finished songs, and some interesting and random lines for lyrics. I have never written so little, musically, in my life. I think sitting on the bench is comfortable and well-deserved, but I wonder if I don’t need a bit of a nudge from someone for all this loitering I’ve been doing (i.e. a challenge like this one). I need to get up off my butt and back to the road that stretches ahead.
The second question is what I’d like to gain from this challenge and my response is that I’m completely open. In other words, I don’t have a goal. I think every engaging course can inspire creation, but if this course doesn’t inspire a handful of new songs, then I’m sure I’ll have gleaned other useful skills and thoughts about my art. I honestly don’t enjoy the act of setting goals, mostly because life sometimes gets in the way and takes us on different turns or up hills we never expected, so I’d rather see what the experience brings, as openly and with as much optimism as possible. That way, I won’t be disappointed. Perhaps the openness is well-symbolized by the sunshine. Here in Beijing, it’s just started to shine warmer. Spring is just over the horizon and I’m definitely enjoying its warmth on my eyelids.
Regarding blogging, however, I am already a well-oiled machine. I maintain two regular blogs through my site, am a guest blogger on two other sites, and I write as a columnist and contributing writer for two magazines monthly and several other publications on an on-call basis. Writing prose has become important in my life, maybe even more so since becoming a mother, and so adding a few words here about the challenge seems a simple task. I love that they’re linked, though, as a process–to both write songs and blogs. That suits me. It will keep me that much more connected to the process if I’m also blogging about it.
Looking forward to what I’m about to learn!