>> Thursday, February 5, 2009
In the beginning of my songwriting, most of my songs were just raw emotion. Hastily scribbled down lyrics written in the moment of feverish emotion. At that time, between ages 19 and oh, about 22, I wasn't really thinking about the craft of songwriting so much as getting my young mixed up thoughts out into the world. The thing I hadn't prepared myself for was the reaction I would get from the people who took the time to listen. My skin was thin and while most of the responses I got were positive, sometimes people would say the most rude and insensitive things. Maybe they thought they were being helpful, but to a young, emotionally vulnerable girl, I took every not so glowing comment to the deepest part of my soul and let it sit there. The consequence of which, was a stretch of probably more than 3 years without writing a single song and after that a stretch of about 4 more years where I managed to write about a song a year.
For a long time I walked around pretending like I didn't care, and even though it wasn't conscious, I think I didn't write songs so that there would be less for others to critique. How can anyone say anything bad if there's nothing to say bad things about? Somewhere along the way I found my songwriting voice again. It was a function of growing up, hopefully becoming a little wiser to the ways of people in general and finding within myself the strength to say, "Here's my song, and I like it!" For me it was a long time between when I started saying those words to when I actually started believing them.
While I don't think I will ever be immune to the comments of others (good or bad), I have definitely gotten to a place where I can welcome criticism. Even if that criticism comes in a form that is hard to swallow, I will never let it stop me from writing a song ever again. A wise person once told me that no one will ever be as into your music as you are. Ain't that the truth! I envy the people who learn this lesson early on, or just have the strength of character to come by it naturally, because it seems like it took me a long time to get there. For anyone else who is struggling similarly, tell me your story and how you are dealing with it.