Oh boy, it’s that time again – I’ve finished up with my main group of songs in production and it’s time to start new songs from scratch. There’s a longstanding debate whether creativity can be forced or can only be allowed to flow naturally when it’s ready. I guess I subscribe to a creative philosophy somewhere in the middle, in that I can definitely shut it down – turn it off, or maybe distract it, if you will. But when I “allow” myself to be creative and am open to receiving creative inspiration I generally don’t have a problem finding it. I don’t generally find myself with the proverbial “writer’s block” for any substantial period of time. I can get stuck, but can work myself out of it over time without too much struggle.
I should qualify this as applying only to music, however, as lyrics are always a struggle for me. Always have been and likely always will be. I absolutely can’t force lyrics or process my way to poetic ideas. So I generally seek out lyric writing partners to do the heavy lifting. That being said, I think I’m pretty good at editing lyrics and adding the right touches to finalize them – it’s the starting from scratch part that’s really tough for me. On the rare occasion though – maybe once or twice per year – a set of lyrics will come to me, almost all at once. I don’t know how or why, but they fly through my head and I have to write them down before I forget. Of course, I’m usually in the car at the time, so rushing home to get lyrics down on paper can be a challenge. It happened again this morning!
Energy, Bankrupt Generation, Lost the Line, and What Brings People Together happened in this way. It is not a long process – usually the whole set of lyrics is down in one sitting, maybe two, and then some touchups later when the music is written. Wish I could do that a little more often – it’s fun and exhilirating. I love that feeling of looking at the paper with a set of lyrics on it and asking, “Where did that come from?” Lyric writing just isn’t natural for me and so when it happens I’m always pleasantly surprised.
So between this new one and two more from Cait at the moment, I hope to have some new songs soon. In the meantime, ping me with a comment about your creative process…how do you get inspired? What comes easy and what’s a struggle? Do you have a process or just let it flow?
Good luck in whatever way your creativity takes you!