Something Will Surprise You

One of the best things about writing a song, about sitting down and writing one whether I really want to or not, is learning; “I can write a song, and I can write a song at any time.” 

Lots of people wish they could write songs. Many of those people think they can’t. But they’re wrong. They usually defining “a song” as something epochal and out of reach, unpossible. Of course, a song can be epochal, but they can also be dead simple. Some are both.  

The point is what songwriting writing has taught me: I can do nearly anything given that I set the states low and give myself space to learn the skills required. Some people call this “giving ourselves permission.” To me that’s a little too mommy or daddy looking over my shoulder and saying what I can and can’t do. 

If giving yourself permission works, that’s fine. I find I need most is to remember to set the stakes (and my slights), very, very low. For me, that creates the space for my work to surprise me. And when I give it space the Work often will surprise me, especially if I’m doing the work often enough.  

If songwriting is something you’ve always wanted to do, set your sights low and start writing. Eventually, your work will surprise you. Sit down everyday for a week and simply write for ten minutes. Maybe don’t ever look at it. Stick it in an envelope until the end of the week. When you do look at it. Something will surprise you, and it will be thrilling. 

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