Writing A Second Album: How Courage to Take Action Can Result in Confidence and Amazing Songs
Based on the Podcast Episode: “How Courage to Take Action Can Result in Confidence and Amazing Songs with Émilie Landry” – Episode 24, The Magic of Songwriting with Francesca de Valence
French-Canadian songwriter and artist Émilie Landry shares how taking simple practical steps each morning helped her to write her second album in both French and English language. This is a conversation about not relying on talent alone, but building confidence and skill through the courage to take action.
Overcoming Blocks to Write A Second Album
My first album “Arroser des fleurs” (Watering the Flowers) came to me as a clear concept. This was a collection of songs about self-love, growth and self-confidence all in French language. The writing of this album just flowed, and I kept going until I had all the songs I needed for this project.
After touring that album, I knew I had to write another album but I had no idea what it would be about. I knew I had to sit down and start writing but I got so distracted by all the noise of social media and all the other aspects of having a music career that I struggled to write!
I was telling myself a story that I didn’t have the time to write and I got some good advice about this from a mentor:
Get up early, grab your coffee and sit down and do the thing that you want to be doing. And do it first thing in the morning. Don’t turn your phone on, don’t look at your email. Give yourself an hour. Do that for you, cause no one else can do that for you. Just write, and be more consistent.
I did this and the more I wrote, the more I realised I was starting to write a new album.
Talent and ‘Doing the Work’ – A Reality Check
I’ve been told before, “you’ve got talent but you’ve got to do the work”. But it was only after starting to ‘do the work’ that I realised it’s all a discovery process. You don’t know where this is going to go. However, what helped this unknown was being given something simple and practical I could do each morning as a next step. This made the discovery process so much simpler.
Because my self-confidence was not great at the time, another thing that really helped me was letting go of worrying if I was writing anything good. Taking time out for me to write a song became an act of self-love.
Writing one song a week in the Club is so simple, it’s such a great idea and it makes such a huge difference. The practice can eliminate the feeling of “I don’t know what I’m doing” in the songwriting space, especially when there’s months between songs.
Talent can get in our way and can keep us stuck in a belief that we’re already good, which might be different to how we’re really feeling. ‘Doing the work’ is about taking action, and taking action will move you forward and shift how you feel. It requires courage to take action, but this can lead to confidence in yourself, and amazing songs!
I kept writing in this process of discovery until I had written my second album, “Enfiler mes bottes” (Put on my boots).
Life Will Influence Your Writing
I was living back in my childhood hometown when I started writing my second album. It’s amazing how life influences your writing.
After being away from home for some time, I was regaining my original accent – a version of myself that I recognised and it started to bleed into my songwriting. And I started having memories of my childhood and teenage years. As a result, there’s so much about my hometown in this second album.
I wrote about my friends, love, my family, and different memories from my hometown – like the bridge where we would hang out as teenagers and have our first kiss. I wrote about how we talk, how we think, the little pleasures and the big heavier moments. And I wrote songs in English for the first time in a long time.
Writing Songs in Another Language
To be fair, I identify as bilingual. Being a francophone in Canada, I have an unfair advantage. Whilst French is my first language, a lot of my family and community speak only English.
When I was younger, I listened to English TV shows and music, and the first songs I wrote as a teenager were in English. In order to take advantage of entering French competitions, I was encouraged to write in French and that’s when I fell in love with writing in French, and with some francophone artists. Writing in French allows me to tell stories in a different way.
I had to work hard to write songs in my mother tongue and put lots of work and time into this.
By the time I was writing my second album, it had been so long since I wrote in English. The biggest problem I had was that I didn’t want my stories to sound forced.
The Club helped me alot to write my English songs. It was great to have feedback from other English speaking songwriters. It helped assure me if the syntax was right, to know if something was cliche, overdone, original, if it made sense, if it was a good song.
Take a listen to “Enfiler mes bottes”, Emilie’s second album here. Three of these songs were written as part of two terms in I Heart Songwriting Club.
Timestamps for podcast audio:
5:00 – Co-writing and collaborating with other musicians online
10:00 – A discussion about French country-folk music and Francophone music
14:38 – Émilie shares about her Acadian heritage and living in New Brunswick, Canada
23:40 – About writing her new album “Enfiler mes bottes” (Put On My Boots)
32:25 – ‘talent vs work’, ‘courage vs confidence’
42:39 – Writing songs in a second language and getting feedback on songs
52:05 – Émilie shares her song “Sugar pie” with us
About Émilie Landry:
Émilie Landry is a bilingual singer-songwriter from New Brunswick, Canada. The country-folk artist takes inspiration from American female country artists such as Dolly Parton, The Chicks, Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves, for her symbols of integrity, success and strength of character. Émilie’s journey has taken her to over 150 venues in the Maritimes, Quebec, Europe and Louisiana! She is regularly in the radio charts and was the winner of the International Songwriters Day Song Contest with an unreleased song in English (written in I Heart Songwriting Club).
Contact Émilie: Website / Facebook / Instagram
Song Credit: “Sugar pie” – Written and Performed by Émilie Landry.
Episode Show Notes:
Get your creativity, confidence, and songwriting output flowing. Join The Club and receive the support and structure to write 10 songs in 10 weeks and get feedback from a private peer community. This is THE essential writing practice that has changed the careers and lives of 1000s of songwriters worldwide.
Just getting started on your songwriting journey and need more hands-on support? Establish a firm foundation and develop your musical and lyric skills with our Beginner Songwriting Courses. They are the perfect place to begin and cover everything you need to know to write your first songs. You’ll receive lessons from Francesca directly!
Don’t struggle to write your next album – write an album a year with ease! Watch our Free Songwriting Masterclass.
Want more for your songwriting but don’t know where to go from here? Take the I Heart Songwriting Club Quiz to discover your next steps and inspire your way to writing better songs.
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Podcast theme song: “Put One Foot In Front Of The Other One” music and lyrics by Francesca de Valence
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