Songwriting

One Other Person

A lot of people are wonder what they can do.  Consider this story a parable. 

Some years ago, I started a songwriting group. I knew I wanted to write songs consistently. I’d also learned I don’t write songs consistently on my own. So I put myself on the hook. I told a classmate in a songwriting class I was starting a song group. Six months later, that person asked me how the group was going. “It’s not;” I admitted, then said; “Let’s start it together.”

On a Sunday afternoon in early December the group began.  At first it was just me and John in my living room. Then people were showing up to the group every Sunday. Over the next two to three years the group thrived.  Strangers showed up at my door and became compatriots, then friends. Twenty years later they’re some of the dearest friends I have. I write a lot of songs—though still pretty exclusively only when I’m accountable to other songwriters to do it. I consistently make myself accountable.  

If you are looking for a way to take action, there’s no better way I can think of than to speak with one other person you know is interested in the same thing. Then, together, make a commitment to that action. Then show up.  And invite some more people. And continue showing up. To create change start with one other person.  

Consider these words from Bob Franke: 

Out of any dozen people committed enough to get together weekly and share and critique each other’s new work (that’s writing a song a week), within nine months’ gestation you will get:

12 much-improved songwriters and much matured human beings;
5 or 6 real resources to their local musical community, and
2 or 3 world-class songwriters.
I have seen this come to flower myself more than once.

We may not be able to change the world. But we can have untold impact when we simply reach out one other person and commit to and action. 

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