Spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you.
I wanted to write this month's column on a topic we've been discussing a lot of late, the reason why the muse, inspiration, what have you, shows up at the most inconvenient times and places to tempt you with a song. How many of you have been in bed, almost asleep and the perfect tune with perfect words appears? You hum it over and over in your head, certain you'll remember it. What happens...you guessed it…it's gone by morning. Or you have that one inspirational line that is so right on but you've nothing to write it down with. You're sure you'll remember it….guess what, it's gone in a moment. It's so terribly frustrating and so wonderful all at the same time. At least it keeps coming back to you.
I ran across this great article about "Heeding the Muse" http://www.jimlesses.com/Songwriting/Courting_The_Muse.htm…. and I've included some of it here. It's so true.
"Songs have come to me while I've been driving; standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes; on the toilet; and even while I've been in bed asleep. Of this last location, I have yet to perfect the skill of writing while sleeping. Alas, this has resulted in my losing several songs because I refused to wake up and write them down. I thought I would remember them and write them down in the morning, but by the time I was ready to commit words to paper, the songs had moved on - probably to someone else!
The lesson here is to seize the moment, and put yourself through the discomfort of lost sleep, or whatever else you happen to be engaged in at the time, to at least get the initial ideas and themes on paper while they are still fresh in your mind. Clearly I still have a few things left to learn."
I'm reminded of a time I woke up from an afternoon nap with all the chords and words to a love song for Gordie. In my dream, a famous songwriter taught me the chords at his kitchen table and gave me the words to sing. I remember getting my guitar and literally playing the song cold exactly as it was in my dream. It was amazing. That hasn't happened since but I keep hoping it will. You just have to keep open to the possibility.
My advice? Keep a journal or tape recorder by your bed, in your bag, in your desk, car…. anywhere you are. Take the time, write things down…. make an effort to stop what you're doing and focus on the muse. It will reward you. I guarantee it!! And remember to feed the muse, stimulate her with live music, travel, books, plays, opera, good conversation, food, wine...good friends.
Until next month, keep writing!!!
Jane Eamon is a prolific performing songwriter in the Okanagan Valley. Veteran of many songwriting workshops, she's currently one of the hosts of the popular Songwriters in the Round series in Kelowna. Email her at: email@example.com.
Visit her website: www.janeandgord.com