Boundaries, Imperfection, Practice, Self-Care

What is Enough?

I’m a big advocate of “enough.” 

What is enough?  

How do I define enough for myself?

How do I guard myself for when the world, (and the voices in my own head), tells me what I’ve done isn’t enough?  

Enough is a work in progress. An experiment even. Most of what I do, I’d love to do more of, until I find that I don’t want to do anything anymore. It’s preferable not to get to “I don’t want to do anything anymore.” So I’m aiming to learn what’s enough.  

Practice, Songwriting, The Muse, Writing

Skipping Stones

It’s fun to skip stones across the surface of a lake or pond. It’s a challenge. How many skips can you get?  Talking about songwriting with a friend the other day that image popped into my mind.  

To me it seems that sometimes I when return to a theme again and again tt’s a bit like skipping stones. The idea skims across the surface of all the songs I’ve written until it plunks beneath the surface and “sinks in.”

This is an advantage to writing many songs. We all have our predilections, and ideas that we return to again and again. My sense is the more I write, the more clarity and insight I gain on any one of those themes or ideas. Each song I write is a chance to hone in on a message, for the song to plunk beneath the surface and sink in.

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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.  

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

Imperfection, Practice, Writing

Letting the Dough Rise

A friend was writing about sourdough bread and creativity.  How setting out the dough to rise reminded them of setting a project aside for a for a bit to let it develop, to let the subconscious work its creative magic. This sparked a few things for me. 

One is that the yeast and sugar will do its thing with the flour in the dough without any intervention on my part. I can trust the process to work. The same is true of creativity. Once I start the process of writing, (assuming I see the process through), I’ll get my loaf of bread.  

Also, it’s no help to the process if I intervene, trying to raise the dough faster. Here I’m thinking about how my ego will try to engineer great writing with thoughts and strategy. Thoughts and strategy aren’t writing. (Sitting down and writing is writing). The process is consistent.  Write a draft, quickly. Then walk away for a while. When I sit down again for draft two, improvements are obvious.  

But finally, and most important, when I decide the dough is no good and throw it out before I’m done, I don’t get any bread.  

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