Boundaries, Inherent Self-Worth, Practice, Self-Care

Struggling with Quiet

As I’m writing this, it’s a quiet Sunday morning. Out my kitchen window I can watch the wind twiddle the leaves of a tree in my neighbors yard. I find quiet to be difficult to sit with, to enjoy. There are so many opportunities for noise, for filling my time with busyness.  

Today, after writing seven songs in seven days and launching a new forum to support the Fearless Songwriting community, I aim to enjoy, (or rather struggle) with the quiet, let myself be a bit bored—a little like a toddler struggling to avoid a nap.  

Songwriting

Doodling with Words

I’ve read that doodling helps many people think better. Maybe it’s the kind of repetitive activity like washing dishes that lulls a persons judging brain to sleep.   

In doodling, single line could become a flower stem, or part of a ladder, or maybe a bemused smile like the Mona Lisa’s. The stakes low for doodling and the possibilities are nearly endless. Even a person who thinks they are at art might allow themselves to make swirly spirals in the margins of their paper.   

Which makes me wonder, couldn’t a person doodle with words in a similar way. Just start writing words like doodling loop the loops on a page. Both activities merely require a person to start moving their pen or pencil on the paper.  

[I end most blog posts with a fun drawing. This week I’ll posting a little musical sketch from “The Fearless Songwriting Challenge,” I host. To find out more join the email list below!]

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Like the wounded wielding swords
Like the sun rising up side down
When the ocean tip toes in a rain drop
The rain drops is going to drown

Like singing a song with the swans
Like telling the charcoal to stop
When the beggar is begged out business
the penny is going to drop

Too Soon
Last fall
The while clouds are drifting downwards
St Peter is calling for Paul

Like footprints falling in the snow
Like a parasol caught in the rain
When a parachutes swung by it’s ripcord
The ground will embrace the plane

Too soon
Last fall
The white clouds are drifting downwards
Unready for the call

Like dreams that don’t come to pass
Like autumn wrapped up in a shawl
When the basinet bows to the bough break
The hammer is going to fall

Too soon
Last fall
The white clouds are drifting downward
to catch me when they call

Fearless Challenge, Imperfection, Songwriting, The Song Well

Ship More or Hone More?

There’s a balance between shipping consistently, and aiming to create great work. One school says work your craft daily, and it will improve. That the process is the purpose. 

Another school says the work in honing the skill, making the craft as good as a person can.   

School one says the process of creation and completion hones the craft—do that as often as possible. The other says completion for its own sake, can lead to a shoddy product. There’s truth in both approaches.  

Is it only one or the other or could there be a mix of the two? What’s the best path forward? These voices duke it out in my mind a lot. 

[I end most blog posts with a fun drawing. This week I’ll posting a little musical sketch from “The Fearless Songwriting Challenge,” I host. To find out more join the email list below!]

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The Breeze in the window
And the cat is there too
It’s six in the morning
There’s songwriting to do

And the birds are all calling
As they flit tree to tree
The sun just arising
Just beginning to see

And it’s fleet as a fox is
It’s swift as a bird
The light on the house is
Music unheard

The Breeze in the window
And the cat was there too

Songwriting

The Sprint of Creativity

When I started writing, creativity—writing in particular—was often described as a sprint. A dead run away from Resistance and the censor, gremlins galore. I was told, if I write fast enough, those voices couldn’t catch me. It’s advice that often works.  

But, we aren’t built to sprint more than a hundred or two hundred yards at a time, and sprinting can be exhausting. A sprint isn’t a long term plan—maybe a series of sprints is?   

What if instead I could see my resistance and fears for the ghosts and empty husks they are? Jumping mad illusions that can’t bite, only bark, just bay at the moon?  

How would a person do that?  

(The first step might be to merely ask the question).  

[I end most blog posts with a fun drawing. This week I’ll posting a little musical sketch from “The Fearless Songwriting Challenge,” I host. To find out more join the email list below!]

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Punch Drunk
The call from on high
Abraham is climbing the mountain
with his son at his side
Hallelujah
The knife gets knocked from his hand
If faith and love are blind what makes a man man?

Is it strength
Is it guts
Is it Jacob who wrestles the angel to say what’s what?

Black Jack
Dealer hit me one more
Eros and Mars at the table baby what’s in store?
Hallelujah
Let’s play roulette
The sword and the scales are level let’s place a bet

Is it faith
Is it love
Does deaf and dumb and blind describe us?

Rain and Fire
Fire and rain
You and me and four horsemen on the ride again
Hallelujah
String up you bow
Takes shots at each other with loves arrows

Is it caring
Or generous
Could the warmth of a kind embrace embrace us?

Fearless Challenge, Songwriting, The Song Well

Potluck

Creativity is a bit like a potluck.

As long as a person shows up and brings something to the table they’ll walk away fed.

It doesn’t matter what a person brings to the potluck, they get fed all the same.

It won’t always be exactly what I wanted, but if I show up with my efforts at the table of creativity, I won’t be left wanting.

[I end most blog posts with a fun drawing. This week I’ll posting a little musical sketch from “The Fearless Songwriting Challenge,” I host. To find out more join the email list below!]

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Have you ever watched in wonder
the wildness just outside
The broken shards of sidewalk
The cracks that we can’t hide
Cries called from Cairo to Castro
Halos hidden under lids
Bushels bulge with business
Angels dancing on a pin

Have you ever slept all weekend
Have you lived the life supine?
Drank to Dionysius
Found mission in the moonshine
Read the braille of lovers
Touched on every hill and dale
But still found your candle covered
An empty holy Grail

Have you heard love on the grapevine
In the glow of reddened cheeks
The fairest maid the stars aligned
All is fair in war and peace
Have you seen the boisterous shoreline
That the watch the tide erode
Sipped a bible from the bottle
Forget the ocean for the words