I Wish I Were…a Jedi Master of Songwriting

I usually don’t take up the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge, but I had to today.  Why?  Because the challenge actually relates to my life strongly this week.  Apologies for not keeping on the topic of Star Wars for this post.

I wish I were able to write song lyrics.  I have struggled for years with this seemingly simple, but ever elusive talent.

The television was on limited viewing in my household when I was younger.  My parents believed it distracted you too much from your schoolwork (which it does) and also believed it was often filled with inappropriate content for children (which it is), so they would tell us to go read a book.  When I was allowed to watch TV, my mother usually put in a VHS of either the old, classic Hollywood musicals or a Disney Fairytale.  I grew up thinking it was natural to break out into song and dance whenever the mood struck.

When I played outside, I would pick up my sword and/or lightsaber (usually just a long stick) and play my adventure stories with the fervor and excitement a young child usually does.  I would break out into song as well.  I remember having a realization when I was around 8 years old that my song wasn’t ending.  I was singing and running around the yard, but I couldn’t find an appropriate end to the song.  That really bothered me because I just ended up stopping the song with no grand, climatic conclusion.  I also noticed that I was just singing what was happening in the story, which didn’t make the song very interesting.  There were no choruses, bridges, verses…only a narrative being sung.

As I grew older, and learned to play guitar, my lack of ability in songwriting came back to haunt me.  If I only I could write some moving lyrics, then I could be the next rock star!  I could get some melody’s down alright, but I could not even form two lines together.  I tried everything from writing poems and then putting them to a melody (never sounded right) to just trying to pick up my guitar and singing “from the heart”.  Either I lack emotion or I lack the songwriting ability.  I believe it’s the latter because I can sing and play someone else’s song with plenty of emotion.

Playing my guitar

Changing someone else’s lyrics is easy, like I do with my YouTube parody videos, because the groundwork is there.  But creating them from scratch keeps me bumping up against a brick wall.  I cannot do it.  My voice isn’t half bad and my guitar playing skills are pretty good, but my talents do not lie in the songwriting arena, which is a shame.

Last night, I was angry, sullen and down on myself.  I picked up my guitar and tried so hard to play something…anything that came from my heart because the passion was there.  Nothing happened.  The chords were there but whatever I sang just ended up sounding, for lack of a better word, lame.  It is possibly the most frustrating feeling as an artist to have that emotion bottled up inside of you, but you have no way to express it.

I just wish I were able to write song lyrics!

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5 thoughts on “I Wish I Were…a Jedi Master of Songwriting

  1. ” Either I lack emotion or I lack the songwriting ability. I believe it’s the latter because I can sing and play someone else’s song with plenty of emotion.” …Well,u don’t lack songwriting ability,coz u can write poems…and u mentioned that u can sing and play someone else’s song with plenty of emotion.This means wot u might be lacking is the emotion while covering a song that u wrote…Now dis lack of emotion in ur own songs is possible only when u have written a song without putting much ‘feel’ into it.Writing a song just because u haven’t written one in a long time is not a reason to write songs.Just give it some time,u’ll find some sort of feeling forcing u to write something.Only then u can write a good piece…

    • Thanks for the encouragement! It’s just so difficult for me. I wish it was just so cut and dry, like a formula or something. If you have a + b, then you can write a song equaling c.

  2. We don’t have a formula for songwriting,because it’s about genuine creativity that requires ur feelings…and since any emotion transcends logic,it is hard to apply a formula while creating something of artistic value…this is what makes art,literature,music superior to science,this is what makes us humans and not machines…This process definitely takes time,and now u probably know y even very talented artists take considerable time in releasing their albums.

  3. Years ago I watched a Bollywood movie and they said love is the main inspiration of music. Even though I’m not a songwriter, every time I fell in love or being loved (with people or things) I feel like singing. It seems like love is the “force” of music.
    Well, I don’t know whether it will work or not, but maybe you can try to recapture the things (or people) you love (re-love them) and feel the difference. Good luck. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement! However, what’s kind of opposite for me, is I usually really want to write songs when I’m angry. When I’m in love, I don’t know…the urge to write a song isn’t there. If I ever write a song, I’ll update it on my blog 🙂

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