Sunset over the ocean with seagulls flying in the upper right corner

Songwriting

January 24, 2023

I don’t know if I’ve made it clear on this website, but I’m a long form writer, by education and practice. Historically, I’ve focused on memoir and personal essay as a genre.

Lately—as of about May, 2021—I’ve been exploring songwriting as a storytelling device. It’s a way of telling the story without dredging up and flopping out all the bloody guts and gore onto the table for all to sort through, though there’s something to be said for that approach, as well.

In essay writing, we talk about reaching the emotional truth via our words. This is part of how we do it. “Show, don’t tell,” goes the mantra. I’d argue that in memoir and essay writing, the secret sauce is actually a healthy balance of both. Regardless, it involves sharing a lot of details.

Approaching personal topics through music has given me a way of getting to the heart of the matter, not just more quickly, I’m finding, but also more directly. It is still about the story, for me. I’ve been taking music lessons for about 5 years, but I do not consider myself to be a musician. (I think it breaks my instructor’s heart a little bit every time I say this, so let’s just keep that secret to ourselves here on the blog.)

There’s something about the way music can reach people so viscerally. It’s pure emotion. Energetic connection, I’d go so far as to say. Not that I’m giving up on long form writing any time soon.

All this is simply to say that I’m having so much fun exploring this new-to-me method of storytelling, and I look forward to sharing it, someday. 

Stay “tuned” for posts on how this all came to be. Rita Wilson had a lot to do with it.