At I Heart Songwriting Club, we are all about inspiring and empowering songwriters to be their best. We also know our members have some amazing insights and wisdom to share about their songwriting experience.
As the first instalment in our ‘Club Conversations’ series, we asked our members some of the biggest songwriting questions there are to discover gems of wisdom from songwriters living their wildest creative dreams.
Why is songwriting important?
As a Songwriting Club founded by songwriters, we understand why songwriting is important. However, we wanted to be sure we understood the importance for other songwriters. So, we asked our members in these interviews. This is what they shared.
A practice about the empowerment of self
The overwhelming response to this question was that people write songs to connect with their authentic selves. They want to express and communicate with the world from that pure place.
“Songwriting is an incredible way to express what you can’t express through other means. It is important to me because it is the place that I can show up in the most authentic way.” Melbourne-based songwriter and our newest Club member, Karen Harding, shares.
Some of those showing up regularly for their songwriting, like Leah Jett from Scotland, recognise, “it’s who I am, and I just can’t ignore it!”
Semi-retired adult educator and songwriter Ed Robins shares this insight, “while I get enjoyment from singing and playing other people’s songs, they’re not mine. Thousands of people can sing and play them better than I can. But no one else has my exact experiences. So, writing my own songs means expressing my own thoughts/feelings/experiences in my own way.”
Club member Helen Perris
A path to wellness
Songwriting and mental health are known bedfellows for some songwriters, but the ‘songwriting for wellness’ approach hasn’t been a prevalent topic of conversation for the music industry. This is especially the case given the industry is dealing with more front-line issues (like streaming sites, gender equity, live music industry cancellations, #metoo movement, this list is long). However, those songwriters who write each week have spoken out about their experiences around songwriting for wellness.
Sydney singer-songwriter and music educator Helen Perris shared this statement with us a few years ago. “Before I joined I Heart Songwriting Club, I had a lot of self-doubt about my songwriting, and it took me a long time to write and a long time between songs. Being accountable to the Club to write weekly, even when I’m feeling low or anxious, has had a huge positive impact on my mental health.”
Helen has been writing songs in the Club consistently for the past six years – that’s well over 300 songs. No wonder she attributes wellness to her songwriting practice. “Regular creating of art coupled with the supportive community in the club has fed my soul, and the bonus is I have written almost 200 songs in the club.”
Ed Robins adds, “During the past year, the restrictions of Covid-19 have meant that having the discipline and creative outlet of writing a song each week (50 songs in 50 weeks and counting!) have given me purpose, focus and satisfaction. In addition, they have shielded me from the adverse mental impacts that so many have faced over the same time.”
Songwriting is my purpose in the world
Many songwriters have day jobs but still cite songwriting as their purpose in life, or as Joe Rallos from Brisbane shares, “it brings purpose and a safe place.”
Newcastle songwriter and artist John Newsome shares, “I feel like songwriting is my “real” work. I am a primary school music teacher throughout most of my week, which calls for a lot of energy output. Songwriting is a grounding part of what it means to work and leave an imprint on the earth. It’s also good for my head and heart.”
John’s single ‘Home,’ written in the Club, topped the OzDay Top 30 on Rhema FM Newcastle in 2020, as voted by fans and local supporters. The same single also charted Nationally on the TCM network.
He says, ‘Home’ poured out of some deep place in an hour of March 2019. As part of the Club songwriting challenge [the theme was ‘Mercury’]. “I needed to write a song that communicated how I was feeling right now. At that time, I was suffering a bit of burnout as a Primary school music teacher. So this songwriting session became music therapy.”
What a perfect circle within this example to loop back to the other reasons songwriters write songs for the empowerment of expression and wellness.
Club member John Newsome
Are you interested in writing more?
In the Club, we are well-versed with using songwriting for healing and therapy. Those who regularly practice say their sense of wellness directly correlates with their regularity of writing songs. Doesn’t that make sense when the primary reason people say they write songs is for connection to who they truly are?
If you would like to join our regular writing sessions, view our available programs and join the Club today! Join our members, learn from their amazing insights, and become the prolific songwriter you’ve always wanted to be.