Today’s post is from Christopher Taylor, a San Antonio-based singer/songwriter and artist. He’s been a good friend for years and I’m always inspired by his work. Check him out on Facebook and Twitter.
When you are a songwriter and you also perform your songs in a live setting, the songs themselves, become strange little creatures.
Sometimes you sing them so often that even the thought of singing them again drives you insane.
You can’t tell whether you own the song or the song owns you.
Sometimes you remember exactly where you were when you wrote the lyrics. Other times, you can’t remember what inspired you to write the song in the first place.
Sometimes the meaning of the song changes every time you sing it.
Sometimes when you perform the song live, you are bored out of your mind and going through the motions. You are completely oblivious to the fact that someone in the audience might be hearing it for the first time and having a magical moment.
Sometimes you’re the one having that magical moment upon the stage. Other people in the room are oblivious and talking over you and you become background music.
Then, the greatest magic moment of all is the thing every live musician strives for: when both the audience and the performer are connected by the song. It’s a wave of circular energy from the stage to the audience and the audience back to the stage.
Sometimes, as a live performer, you have to fight your own emotions to get through a song. Most of the time it’s boredom or frustration. It’s like we are in a 12 round fight with ourselves an one of us is taking it on the chin.
Sometimes we think we’ve written the greatest song and then we hear somebody else’s song and think so much less of ours (isn’t that a shame?).
Sometimes it takes weeks months or even years to finish one song. Most of the time when something like that happens we don’t even feel the payoff. It feels like time wasted.
Some songs show up at your door and are done in minutes.
Being a performing songwriter is weird because we want everyone’s attention but we are too afraid to ask for it. Maybe not in every case…but in most cases.
We want to be cool but not too cool. We want to be hot but not too hot. We want to be mysterious but not out of reach. Most of us fall short of all those things and we would just settle to be loved.
To all the songwriters out there, keep writing and keep performing your songs because no one will write a song just like you. Believe in yourself and in your artwork even when no one else does. Keep getting better and with every plateau you climb reach for the higher one that comes next.
Peace and love to you all.