Yesterday morning I was getting ready for church and some lyric fragments came to me that I thought were promising, so I dropped everything and got to work. This song wrote itself! I mean that I had the first verse and chorus down in a matter of about five minutes, and I thought this was going to be a slam dunk! Well, they really were good lyrics.
Then I wrote the second verse, and WOW, that verse was not good or promising, but it was great! Next I re-looked at that “good” first verse, and somehow it just wasn’t that good anymore. YIKES! So I dug in. I knew that I was on a roll and I had a song that was going to write itself, and after all, church could wait a few minutes. Actually that was a lie, because, I am actually the pastor. the only pastor, and, while everyone else is late on a regular basis, I am the one who just cannot be late. Well, I guess I could be late once, but then, well, you know, so I couldn’t actually finish my song. The congregation gets a kick out of the fact that I play Honky-Tonks, but I’m not sure they’d be up for me to miss church to write one of my Honky-Tonk songs. Wisely, I suppose, I decided to do my service and let the song wait for later.
And, just as I thought, the song didn’t go anywhere, and was waiting for me, unfinished, when I got home. Soooooooooooo, the song still isn’t finished. I’m working on it, but nothing yet. Am I frustrated? No. Am I worried? No. Do I think I might have writer’s block? No. Sometimes a song just takes a little longer than others do. This is too good an idea to waste it on rushing it. Also, and this is key to my writing process, I trust the process itself. I have written enough songs in the past to know that I will continue to write in the future. I may be a lot of things, but I am a songwriter, and that counts for a lot.
Some years back, I took a writing workshop from songwriter, Steve Seskin, who is one great writer. It was one of those affairs where there are six-eight other songwriters who get to say their piece after Steve gives his critique. I had brought in one song that had presented itself in a similar, but reversed way as this current song. It was good, funny, catchy, but the second verse did not come up to the same caliber as the first. Steve asked why I didn’t write the second verse as strongly as the first, and suggested that I had given up on it and declared it finished too soon. He was correct. I had gotten lazy and overconfident. I re-worked the second verse and it turned out really killer–a good lesson learned.
I’ll be working on this song off and on this week, and it will turn out really good–I have confidence!