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

Fearless Challenge, Practice, Songwriting, The Song Well

Thx Thx Thx

For a long while there was a blog I enjoyed at http://thxthxthx.com/ Leah Dieterich, the author would post three little gratitudes a day. She wrote mini thank you notes to whatever she felt gratitude for, (just like her mom had taught her). Something like this:

• Thanks open window, you invite birdsong into my kitchen which is calming and beautiful
• Thanks past Timmy, you made me all this cold brew that I can enjoy this morning as I sit down and start my day.
• Thanks glasses, you are so helpful when it’s time for me to drive to the store and buy groceries.

Gratitude in direct address has stuck with me ever since. It’s quirky and charming. I like actually thanking the things I enjoy, and letting them know why I enjoy them, what they are adding to my life. It’s just so . . . cool! (And goofy). Both of which appeal to me. 

Thank you blog reader. Writing a few times a week helps me develop thoughts and gives me an excuse to draw fun pictures. I’m happy we’ve gotten to share a bit of time together.  

[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 moon floats up
The day counts down 
The bartender antes up the opening round
The Jukebox plays 
The needle drops 
The curtain closes at the coffee shop 

It’s ferry through the river Floor 
It’s a fecund field raising just one more 

The TV cheers 
The taps top off 
The quicker brown liquor opens up it’s shop 
The night grows up 
The chairs fall down 
The art bender nothers up one more round

It’s a brick that floats just like a stone
It’s beerly lease paid on second home 

Dinners served in take out bag 
Sponge baths taken with a used bar rag 
A coronation in a paper sac 
A fight where the ground is fighting back 

The night counts down 
The sun attacks 
The grass needs mowing but it’s on it’s back 
The Headache pounds 
The jukebox stopped 
The curtains opened at the coffee shop

Fearless Challenge, Imperfection, Songwriting, The Muse, The Song Well

The Skin of the Truth

For a long time I’ve done this thing I call the Fearless Songwriter Challenge. The challenge is to write seven songs in seven days. This week, I’m going to post the songs I’m writing during the week. They’ll be nowhere close to perfect.  Some of them likely won’t be very good.  That isn’t the point.  The point is writing. Sitting down and letting the work take shape. That’s how work gets done. And often, if I write seven in a row, at least one of the songs will be pretty good. (And that kind of is the point). If the Fearless Challenge sounds intriguing to you, sign up for newsletter or send me a message. I’ll send you a link.  

He don’t mind to playing chess with what she says is the truth 
He doesn’t sweat or shed tears for her broken home’s blues
Why walk that plank alone when they could slink two by two? 
Don’t ask them why they just sneaks by by the skin of the truth

He sits and listen at the bar for those cloven hooves
Some smile that might invite a night beneath a red, red roofs
A look that would like to share all their hidden tattoos
Don’t ask them why they just sneaks by by the skin of the truth

Some lovers lie by Gideon’s bible tying Gordian knots
Mo-telling what some bodies will do when some bodies get hot

It’s say that a grain of sugar can make a trial a treat
They say to lie is bitter, why’s lying together so so sweet
You’ll won’t catch his devil’s tale in a confession booth
Don’t ask them why they just sneaks by by the skin of the truth

Some lovers lie by Gideon’s bible tying Gordian knots
Mo-telling what some bodies will do when some bodies gets hot 

They say to lie is bitter, why’s lying together so so good?Don’t ask them why they just sneaks by by the skin of the truth

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