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The act of songwriting…


…has never been a challenge for me. I think it’s because I’ve been doing it so long – since I was so uninhibited as a kid – that it’s a habit that’s simply been ingrained. I’ve never thought about how to go about the task. I did it before I thought about it. Like a very young child “learning” to swim.

Yes, as an adult I have thought about form and content and have tried to be dispassionate and self-critical about the output – and it’s true that some stuff I thought was fine at the time (of writing) I’ve considered juvenile in retrospect. In truth – although I’ve never counted – I must have written about two hundred “songs” before I made up one that in my estimation was worthwhile. And by that I mean fit for playing in public and recording for release on a record. Yes, there were pages upon pages of songs I wrote between the ages of fourteen and seventeen I distinctly remember painstakingly annotating lyrics with chord symbols, as neatly as my left-handed writing could achieve. They’re all gone now apart from a few fragments that I’ve retained since they may still be serviceable in some way.

So, as I recently lurked at a particular songwriting forum reading about the struggles people have with the act of songwriting, I’m at loss as to how I could contribute in any way because, in truth, I’ve either forgotten about how I overcame these issues or I never had them at all. I struggle to empathise. And I’m reluctant to explain so lest I appear arrogant or dismissive.

There are not so many things in life that I find so natural to do as to write a song. I may be limited in terms of the scope or breadth of my writing, but the act provides a constant rhythm to my days.

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