I’ve been working a lot on my songwriting this year, and reading books about the craft, and watching interviews with other songwriters about their process. It’s easy to feel, amid all this learning and working, that songwriting itself is a good (or at least neutral) force in my life – but actually it’s been the source of some pretty deep humiliations and awkward situations in my past.
Of course, this is true of many different types of writing I’ve done – being an oversharer can cause issues, regardless of medium – but there is something about songwriting that makes it particularly prone to embarrassing me. Songs, more than any of my other writing, often feel like something that happen to me, rather than being something I intentionally sit down and craft. Like an improvised monologue, or a stream-of-consciousness journal entry, they are frequently the summation of whatever thoughts and feelings have been swirling around my mind lately. Sometimes I’m not even totally aware of how I feel until I see it on the page or hear myself singing it out loud.