What Does Songwriting Bring To Your Life?
Club member Pat Tierney
In the second instalment of our ‘Club Conversations’ series, we asked songwriters what songwriting brings to their life? The benefits of songwriting can be a game-changer in terms of empowerment, wellness and purpose.
Read on to see what Club members, like Pat Tierney (pictured above), had to say.
Lap slide guitarist and roots troubadour Pat Tierney shares that songwriting brings him “calmness & stillness, a sense of achievement and growth.”
“Happiness, peace, rest – a sense of fulfilment. In short, I write for the feeling of being fully alive”, John Newsome exalts.
“Songwriting brings me a great deal of satisfaction and gratitude.” shares Protis, a hobby songwriter from Brisbane.
The Light in my Life
“A day without making music, without either writing down on paper or exploring my inner creativity on an instrument, feels almost like a bereavement to me, and the light can easily slip out of my world. When I write, when I play music, I feel whole – I feel like me – inspired, motivated – at peace.” – Leah Jett.
“Relief, courage and comfort. It’s like going to a home I never had providing nourishment, unconditional love, tenderness and understanding”, says Aussie songwriter Alla Hayes.
“Our lives are filled with the need for busyness and ‘do, do do..’. Songwriting offers a chance to step away from that for a time and move to a place of possibility, without the pressure or demand.” Harding shares.
Frank Zappia from Canberra shares some hard truths about what songwriting brings to his life. “Incredible joy and satisfaction and a safe place to put my “shit”. In challenging times in life, it’s an outlet and allows me to create something beautiful out of something potentially destructive. It connects me with myself as well as other people.”
Joy, comfort, happiness, growth, peace; these are qualities that bring absolute fulfilment to life. Perhaps the honest answer to why songwriting is important is, as Leah Jett shares, because “songwriting is everything”.
What drives you to songwriting?
We appreciate that there are unlimited ways to be creative in this world, and the expression via music and songwriting is one specific way.
Creative Expression through Songwriting
Some people seemed to stumble upon songwriting as a form of expression from a young age by leaning on their loves and interests in poetry and music and adventuring forward in that direction.
“I love language and music. In my younger days, I wrote words alone, as I began to explore my creativity more through music, the words were then embraced by melodies and songs came into the world.” – Leah Jett.
“I feel I am born for creativity and expression through music. I also love connecting with others, both fellow songwriters and those who love my music. It’s just so very meaningful. – John Newsome
“The need to express my creativity is my biggest driver to write songs. There is a lot of freedom that comes from an exploration of your own creativity through the writing of a song.” – Karen Harding.
“I like the journey of creating something from scratch, an idea, and developing it into a finished piece of art.” – Astrid Munday.
For others, what drives them to write songs is the “opportunity to connect to something bigger”, says Pat Tierney. We certainly notice this in our songwriter community.
Alla Hayes writes songs to connect with her mother, who died when she was 15 years old, “Whenever I write songs, my mother is always with me, and that is something very special and significant.”
Ed Robins writes songs to document his family’s history. “I have timber-millers, convicts and soldiers in my family tree, and boyhood memories of growing up in the country, fishing with cousins, working on the farm, and moving to the big smoke.” Storytelling through song is a strong tradition to connect generations.
Honour the Songwriter in You
“I decided that giving myself permission to dedicate time to the art and craft of being a songwriter is a worthy thing to do. In it, I create and feel good. I feel like a whole, healthy and happy human experience is to be faithful to the gift you have been given. In whatever means that would take.” – John Newsome.
“I went from writing about 3-5 songs a year to 1 song a week since I joined I Heart Songwriting Club. Something I never thought I could do before, for real. The more I write, the more I’ve come to believe that I AM a songwriter. The real deal, and just by simply writing magic happens. When you think there are no more tricks in the bag, pick up a pen. Go to the piano, write something, anything. Before you know it, a new song will drop in. It’s happened SO many times now that I don’t believe that my songs will ever stop coming as long as I’m alive, so will be my future songs.” – Frank Zappia.
“Express yourself without the concern of the judgement of others. Your songs are not for everyone. Your authentic self is a beautiful expression, and that is of great value.” – Alla Hayes.
Don’t overthink it
“Don’t get caught up in the technicalities of getting it right the first time, every time. Let what is in you flow without getting caught up in the little details. The endless questioning of whether or not you, or your creations, are “good enough”. The tweaking can come later if you wish it so.” – Leah Jett.
“I always aim at being as spontaneous as possible with my writing and performance, to try and capture an energy and freshness.” – Astrid Munday.
“One of my biggest challenges on my songwriting journey has been perfectionism. The need to always ‘get things right.’ Creativity demands you to think outside the box, but if you are afraid to fail, you will never step outside the safety of the box and never understand the possibilities that await.” – Karen Harding.
This feels so inspiring! So we’ll leave you with this closing remark from Pat Tierney, “Keep writing and writing and be open. The songs are always around us; we just have to tap into the magic.”
What we learned from our members about songwriting
Whilst our conversations were very much about the meaning of songwriting, we noticed not one of these songwriters – and many who are professional songwriters – mentioned releasing music, having a career, making money, etc., as a strong reason for writing songs.
Make of that what you will; we are only sharing the insights with you. Perhaps we can attribute this to the overwhelming sense of joy and balance, wellness and purpose, and freedom of expression that the actual process of writing songs brings to the songwriter’s life, and that stays at the top of the list.