We are extremely priveledged to have a guest post today from a rising star in Nashville. Steve Moakler is an incredible singer/songwriter who is having tremendous success with his craft all over the US. I first discovered him after a documentary I found on youtube called Worth Repeating : A documentary on Songwriting in which i heard his song “Hesitate” for the first time. I tracked his management down and asked if Steve would be willing to write a short post for my blog and here it is. You can find out more about Steve at his website : http://www.stevemoakler.com/
The Songwriting Process – by Steve Moakler
There are a lot of seemingly glamorous, romantic, and powerful effects that can be a associated with writing songs. And if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s difficult to not be distracted by these possible results/effects; such as being known as cool, sexy, influential, popular etc. While there is nothing wrong with naturally becoming any of these things, it’s important that they are far away from the reasons “why” we write.
Songwriting is a process of giving, not receiving. It is the giving of yourself and your time to a craft. Say what you have to say, not what you think people would like to hear you say. Write about things that matter to you. As writers, I believe our best songs are the ones that expose us. Share your humor, your scars, your thoughts, and your story. We all want to experience and witness something authentic.
Also, don’t be afraid of structure and form. There is a reason that so many of our favorite songs play by the same rules. It’s the same reason that most of our favorite foods only have so many ingredients, and why great books and movies usually have a familiar “beginning, middle, and end” that we anticipate. Don’t see formulas and structures as enemies of authenticity, see them as the channels to communicate through.
I once heard someone describe songwriting like pulling water from a well. The water becomes clearer and purer as you pull from it. I have found songwriting to be the same. Don’t be discouraged if your early songs are a little muddy. Time and honest devotion will refine you. Allow music to be its own reward.
Nicely said Steve. If you have any comments, please leave them in the box below.