I don't know why as a songwriter I continually battle with bouts of doubt. "Who cares?" is the vicious whisper that creeps up from time to time. And when reading posts on social media from other writers, this theme is consistently there. So as an exercise for myself, and in hopes that it lifts you up as well, I wanted to remember and share the things that keep me inspired as a songwriter. What keeps me going to write just one more song...
1. I'm good at it. - I don't mean this to sound pompous, but rather as an appreciation for how you and I have been gifted. There are things I'm definitely not good at. Like drawing (I hear my kids laughing in the background). But isn't that part of our problem in focusing on the things we can't do, rather than focusing on the things we do well. Reminding myself "Hey, you're good at this, and you can do this" is important for me in taking that next action to pick up a pen, or open my laptop to start on the next song.
2. If I don't write this idea, no one will. - How many songs have the same title? But how many of those same songs have the same exact words, and same exact idea, from the same exact perspective? Each song is a unique perspective from a writer, or group of writers that would not have been crafted in that way, had they not written it. Remember that, and this is the very reason why you and I need to continue to write.
3. Someone will be impacted by it - Some of the best moments that stick with me are when I receive an e-mail, or comment on YouTube of someone letting me know how my song touched them. That means the world to me! And it would have never happened if I selfishly held back from creating the song, thinking that no one would care. That's selfish. Someone will care. And someone needs to hear what you have to say, and how you have to say it.
4. There is a person behind each "number" on social media and streaming services, and that's who we connect with. - At the end of the day, social media numbers, and streaming numbers do not matter. There is a person behind each and everyone one of those numbers. They matter. Each and every one of them. My hope is that the song, and I as a creator, will be able to connect with them beyond the stream, like, or follow. We are human, we are not A.I. We were made for connection.
5. Lastly, I have all the tools in order to write, record, and release music. Do it. - I've taken the time, and continue to take the time to hone my skill and craft. Not writing and recording music...that's not an option. I've told myself since I was a teenager, if I could write and recording music even if I was never paid for it, I would do it. There is great joy in the writing and recording process (and if it's not joyful for you, you may want to reassess why you write).
What keeps you inspired to write and/record songs?