Early Sunday morning watching the sun come up put me in a thoughtful mood. I starting thinking about some of the reasons that I love to write songs. Maybe it is a byproduct of getting older and a sense of urgency and the reality that I have a limited amount of time to create. Here is a list based on my morning thoughts:
1. I write songs because I have to! There are thoughts in my head that just need to come out and for me it is a little like breathing. The world just doesn't seem right if I don't have a guitar, pen and paper! I'm sure there was a time I didn't write songs but I don't remember it :)
2. It is fun! Writing music, lyrics...laying stories and emotions out on paper and melodies is both frustrating and great fun!! It is wasn't fun I'd have quit writing a long time ago :)
3. Friends!! From co-writers to becoming friends with so many creative people is such a blessing. Being a creative person is a "gift"! Not everyone has "it". So many folks come up to me and say "man, I wish I could write a song". I usually say...you can...just do it! But, I've come to learn that not everyone has the ability to create a song...so to have even a little bit of ability to create original music is a gift and never to be taken for granted! I can't count the number of friends that have come from music and songwriting!!
4. To leave some kind of legacy. I think we all want to leave something behind that might help people remember us when we are gone...that we once existed. Leaving a family behind, children to live on keeps our memory alive. Part of me hopes that people will not only remember me through my children, but through the music/songs left behind. The thought of people singing my songs long after I'm gone makes me feel pretty good. Someone told me that you should "Live, love, and leave a legacy". Not bad advice :)
5. To touch peoples lives!! Maybe I should have put this as the #1 reason. To write a song that can make people laugh, cry, think, reflect, dance...to touch people's hearts in a positive way! An example here: Sometimes you feel like the "messenger" and not the "writer" of some songs. One of those is the song "Beyond the Rain". I can't go most weeks without hearing from someone telling me how the song has touched them. I received an email from Arizona a few months ago from a gentlemen telling me that his father had passed away and that "Beyond the Rain" was his father's favorite song. He went on to tell me that they had the lyrics of the song put on a large posterboard and displayed on an easel next to the casket in the church. He continued to tell me that the lyric sheet was included in the program at the funeral and that the family placed that lyric sheet in the casket before it was closed. WOW!!!! I can tell you that by the time I got to the end of the email I was a mess! So...why songwriting???
I thank God for whatever small talent that I may have for putting music and lyrics together and I plan on sharing songs for as long as I can :) I still sometimes wonder why folks like the songs I put together...I love it that many do and appreciate EVERY single artist/band that likes a song enough to sing and even record!! Whether the artist is a major artist or a small local band...it really doesn't matter to me...both are rewarding and I appreciate them all!
I encourage anyone who has the urge to try and write a song...GO FOR IT! Whether you do it just for personal fun or want to become a professional songwriter you won't regret it!! Anyway...just some serious thoughts on this Sunday morning. Your mileage may vary.
Remember: Write more...whine less!