“If your work does not sufficiently embarrass you, then likely no one will be touched by it.” -Anne Bogart
Have you ever had this conversation with someone?:
“Hey how are you?”
“I’m good, how are you?”
“Cool. Well it’s good to see you!”
I have that conversation with people all the time. Even though my intentions are good in asking, I actually found out nothing about the person I was talking to and they found out nothing about me. Likely, we would have both said some form of “good” whether it was a great day, or an awful day. We hold each other out at arms length, unwilling to be vulnerable because we just don’t think they actually care to hear what is actually going on, or we are worried about what they will think of us if we said something real. We play it safe to keep ourselves from getting hurt. And this, my friends, is the murderer of creativity.
If you approach songwriting, or any art, with your guard up, fearing what people will think of your struggles, fears and questions, you will never allow people to see the only thing they can actually relate to. Have you ever seen a great movie with a terrible actor? They are faking the crying sounds but don’t actually have a single tear in their eyes. That’s what it is like when we try to write a song without putting our whole selves into writing. That is what it’s like when we allow our fear to control our expression. No one will buy that it is genuine, because we all know what it actually feels like, and looks like to actually struggle. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable, accept that not everyone will understand it but also embrace the fact that it may be the very thing someone else needs to hear to help them see that they are not alone.
My goal for 2012 is to allow greater transparency, especially in my writing. My goal is to not allow my fear and insecurity to determine what I let people hear. I challenge you to try it with me:)