Friday, April 29, 2011

A Brief Therapy Moment

That was slightly exhausting.  I just spent two hours refusing to show somebody a song that's been in my notebook forever.  Finally, I cracked and showed the song.  It was painful.  And awkward.  It only took him a couple of minutes to read it, but it felt like an eternity as I sat there feeling completely self-conscious.  I regretted putting so much effort into saying "NO, YOU CAN'T READ THIS ONE" because it built it up way too much and there was no easy way out of it. 

There really wasn't that much wrong with the song.  In fact, my friend convinced me that I should put it into my repertoire.  I guess I'm just not used to unleashing songs that have very many emotions in them.  Or songs that are about specific people.  I feel like the meaning of a song is obvious and am therefore totally embarrassed by that song's existence (especially when the lyrics are no longer relevant).  In reality, it's difficult to tell what the song is about unless you live inside my brain. 

Finally playing this particular song for someone other than my radiator was like ripping off a big messy band aid - it felt unnatural and a little horrific but it was alright in the end.  Actually, I feel really good.  And baffled that someone in this universe would spend two hours of their time in the middle of the night trying to talk me into taking old discarded songs out of my metaphorical oven.  That takes the whole song-writing group thing to a whole new level. 

As I type this, I'm staring at a mound of notebooks full of songs that no one has ever seen.  It's bad.  I write things and hide them away.  Over half of my songs are just rotting in those unseen pages.  A lot aren't finished and many of them have never even seen the light of day.  The Poet has recently challenged me to dig those songs out and let them be heard.  Naturally, I was very reluctant. 

But tonight, I got one of the more embarrassing ones out into the atmosphere and lived to tell about it.  Actually, the most embarrassing part of the whole process ended up being the fact that I was so afraid to let anyone read it.  It made me realize that I'm ridiculous and I need to just get over myself.  Open the notebooks and let people that I trust dive into my music so I can listen to their honest opinions. 

After all, this is what musicians are supposed to do, right?  I can't spend my whole career writing love songs about zombies and intestinal parasites.  And writing songs for my own personal fulfillment is nice, but after a certain point it makes sense to just open the flood gates and let the world in on that stuff.

Because maybe someone will relate to it.  Or like it.  Dance to it.  Sing along to it.  Paint their walls to it.  Drive around to it.  Maybe someday it can all be music that will be of use to other people.

Or maybe I'm just being hopeful and idealistic.  But I don't think I really have anything to lose by singing about things that are real to me.  I always thought I probably did.  I always put my lyrics through so many filters to keep them from being too introspective or revealing. 

"Wouldn't it be so much more satisfying to just get all of the stuff in your notebooks out there?" said The Poet, grinning behind a late-night cup of coffee.  "I know you're a rock and roll girl who sings about monsters and aliens, but you're a real girl too." 

I think he probably has a good point. 

Gah, I'm surrounded by people who probably believe in me more than I believe in myself.  Which I'm endlessly thankful for, but I need to get over myself.  I'm working on it.  Tonight was liberating.  Song-writing group tomorrow will be liberating (that is, if I actually bring a song out instead of just saying "Pass" yet again).  Baby steps out the front door.  Baby steps down the street.  Baby steps into the elevator.

Hi, I'm your friendly neighborhood neurotic songwriter, reporting for duty!

They say it's because I'm a Scorpio.  I thought it was probably more of a general personality flaw, but we can blame the stars anyway. 

Aaaaaand that's all for now.  Wow, boring entry!  Sorry guys.  Just had to spew all of that, I guess.  I really do have stories to tell, I've just been unintentionally hoarding them.  Will spill them soon.  Promise.  <3

(Apparently I have an affinity for text hearts now?  One could even say that I <3 them...)


  1. That's awesome - I have notebooks and journals full of stuff no one will read. I even have word files on my computer of writing I'll never share.

    Keep it up!

  2. You shouldn't be afraid to share your work with the world! I think you're right that most people will take something good away from it, like be able to relate or dance to it :)

  3. Allison - Yeah, I'm the same way. Which is why prying my notebook open for even just one person was fairly monumental. I didn't really want to, but The Poet got me when he said "You know, the song that will take you to the top is probably in one of those notebooks." I've learned that listening to him is generally a good idea.

    the Tsaritsa - Thanks! Yeah, I'm slowly getting over my fear of sharing. It's all easier said than done.

  4. I have so many notebooks full of songs, poems and stories that have never made it anywhere either. Collections of things I thought wouldn't work or just couldn't bring myself to find the words to finish them.

    I have to agree with the Poet though. What makes someones songs epic tends to be the ones that are personal, because that's where people connect to them. Even if the words are irrellavent now.


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