Here’s a couple of thought provoking posts I’ve been reading recently –
Gary Ewers quotes Leonard Bernstein in his post Between Inspiration and Hard Work, the Latter Always Wins
Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time… The wait is simply too long.
The reason the Beatles wrote 200 songs in 7 years is that they never waited for inspiration to show up. Even if you do get inspired there’s rarely enough magic dust to finish the whole song. You still need to graft to find a bridge or a second verse.
Maybe the muse has a short attention span?
Gary has another great post called The Most Important Question Songwriters Should Be Asking. The question is “How is my new song different from my last one?”
if you’ve been following my progress reports this year showing up , you may have spotted that’s pretty much how I roll…e.g.
Depressing Tom Waits style sinner’s prayer (O Lamb Of God)
Weird folky love song for wife involving donated animal body parts (Brother Bull)
Bizarre atonal song about fictional chinese village (Shang Ding Hong Song)
Odd time gospel blues about church announcements (If You’re Here This Morning)
and so on
It’s not just themes and styles, but I’ll try to follow a complicated arrangement/recording with solo voice and guitar or a reworked old idea with a song started totally from scratch.
It’s all part of a natural progression for me that goes like this
1 I want to be a really good songwriter
2 Therefore I need to write a lot of songs
3 If I’m going to write a lot of songs I need to have a lot of variety in my repertoire for sanity’s sake, mine and my listeners!