Most truly creative people I know have what I call an addictive personality. It can lead us into all kinds of trouble; an over reliance on drugs, alcohol, food, education, a workaholic nature, unsettled behavior, always seeking the thrill… I could go on and on.
But when we recognize that we have a propensity to be a bit extreme (shall we say) we can channel this energy into the creative process.
I had a lot of fun writing the song featured in the ‘Can’t Get Enough’ Podcast. Writing without fear I found a fresh vein of artistry somewhere deep within me… to fashion a song type that I’d never written before.
Some people, when they heard the song, thought I must have fallen down a dark pit of sin and debauchery.
The poor guy’s finally lost it!
But alas I was merely having a bit of fun… saying out loud the thoughts that all of us have (if we are honest) at some time or another, about our excessive behavior.
The seed of inspiration was given me by a music supervisor who was in desperate need for a song for his film, about addictions.
I soon found myself writing a song in which I could confess all… concerning the things to which I am easily addicted. I could have written pages and pages of things. But in the end I went for a mixture of truth and tongue in cheek confessions. The song was not meant to be a stream of consciousness through which a priest could hear my confession and then offer me forgiveness but to make a point, that addictions are part of our everyday life.
Finding the courage to be transparent in our songwriting ain’t easy… but until we do so, our songs won’t touch the hearts or souls of our intended audience.
Being able to bare all when we write or perform makes us one that others can identify with, someone they might eventually learn to trust. When we pretend to be perfect, that we are better or more holy than our audience… guess what… we won’t have an audience for long.
Having a past, a bag load of life stories gives us ample opportunity to write songs that touch peoples lives. Like the diamond, the beauty within us is nurtured through the stumbles, mishaps, the trials, misfortunes and pressure of living today. We have something to say because we have walked the same rocky paths that others are on.
When I perform in prisons and bars it is the songs like ‘Can’t Get Enough’, in which I lay it all out, hiding nothing, that connects me with the audience. I’m not afraid to say who I am or what I’ve done, nor am I celebrating my weaknesses… for when I bring them out into the light, these weaknesses no longer have a hold on me.
If you aren’t able to write without fear and or you live under the shadow of one big cloud of happiness then I would suggest that songwriting is not for you.