Writing a Song a Week: Why?
Dec 15, 2020
“Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while one is working.” ~Henri Matisse
I can’t remember where or when I got the idea to write a song a week for an entire year, but it was sometime in November or December of this year. I was just about to finish my 2020 New Year’s Resolution (to read one book a month) and was starting to toss ideas around of what I could do in 2021. One thing was for sure: I knew that I would be home a lot, probably at least until mid-year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ve been longing to get back into music. When I started at Belmont University as an undergrad, I loved music. I mean, I lived and breathed music (as I know most Belmont newcomers do). But shortly after arriving at the dorms, I became dismayed about it all. I learned about the commercial side of the business (which was frankly boring to me), I met people that seemed to only care about becoming famous or only wanted to know you if they could gain something from knowing you, and I generally found it hard to find people that shared the same taste in music as me. Also you couldn’t play music in the dorms! And since I wasn’t in the College of Music, I couldn’t personally reserve any practice space. As time went on in college, I started to work a lot more and additionally, I changed my major and general career path. I still continued to go to lots of shows and listen to tons of music, but as far as actually creating music, that unfortunately didn’t happen.
But now that I’m a few years beyond graduation, I finally feel ready to get back into music on my own terms. I’m far enough away from the music industry now that I don’t feel any weird, uncomfortable pressure to fit into a mold, nor do I feel the need to impress anyone. I’m at the point where I’m writing for myself because it’s fun and I enjoy it.
So it’s clear I want to create more music, but why a song a week? I’ve realized that if I don’t have an external deadline, I just won’t really put much time towards something. When I wrote and performed a score for a silent film at The Belcourt in 2018, I found out about that opportunity only one month before the show. I came home from work every day and wrote the music. And guess what? I came up with 4 songs and I ended up releasing them. Were they perfect? No. Were they great? I don’t think so. But they were done, and done is better than perfect. This is my way of getting closer and closer to “done”. No more 45 second song snippets here.
“I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” ~Somerset Maugham
If I write 52 songs, there’s bound to be a few good ones in the mix. Lately, I’ve been feeling a creative burst and a strong desire to make something… to spend a year creating and then have a whole collection at the end. This project is my permission to myself to create without restriction, to write endlessly until the week turns and I have to move on to the next one. I hope that by the end, aside from a 52 song collection, I’ll be more a more confident musician and maybe - just maybe - I will have written a vocal melody or two.
If you’d like to keep up with this project, subscribe for email updates. I send the updates occasionally, but not enough to overwhelm your inbox! If you’d like a list of all the songs I’ve written so far, here’s a link!