A unique and authentic writing process is the most important thing a songwriter can create.
The process of writing a song is the single most important part of me as a writer and as an artist. I have something I want to say and I must figure out how to say it. More importantly, the universe has something that it wants to say and I must deliver the message. Putting that message together is an awesome task and it takes time, it takes effort. Because it can take so much time and effort, everything I do as an artist revolves around writing songs and it is what I enjoy the most.
For me the process includes every little bit of work that goes into a song. From the years of practice, to the instant sparks of inspiration, to the hours laboring over a melody note by note, it is all part of the process. Creating a great songwriting process helps me to compile ideas, organize thoughts, solidify a message and refine the details of a song. It is also where I draw the energy for performing and connecting with the audience. Lastly, it gives each songwriter their unique touch. Each process is different, so each artist and each song will also be different.
Sometimes people mistake the song as the most important thing an artist can create. Companies hang gold records on the wall. Associations give awards out for “song of the year.” In reality, a song is just a byproduct, and is only as good as the process it was created in. A great song is a channel that connects the audience to the artist’s soul and you can’t have that channel without an authentic process. Every emotion and feeling you get from listening to a song derives from that writer's process. The goosebumps on the back of your neck, the tears rolling down your cheek, the heart jumping from your chest, the rage in your clenched fist, there was a culmination of work that exposed these experiences. That culmination of work is the process and it is the most important thing an artist can create.
As a listener, when I hear a great song I really hear all of the blood, sweat and tears that a person went through while writing. The song itself dissolves and something more is revealed. The channel opens up and you get connected to the message, it is an experience. Sometimes you hear a song and your attention is drawn to the song itself, its structure and its design. That is why bad songs sound like bad songs, there is no channel and the connection was lost in the process.
In the end, the writing process is the only time I have any real intimacy with the song. Like putting a puzzle together, I get caught in the moment. Each piece is attached to an emotion and each emotion creates a memory. Evently all the pieces align and I create the connection. I reveal the puzzle’s image. But then I move on and the puzzle is broken down. With songs, I have other things to say and more to write. The memory of putting it together is all that is left. How many puzzles have ever been assembled but how many puzzles do you see hanging on a wall? When I perform, I create the connection to the audience by drawing from the emotions I remember from the writing process. That is why creating a great writing process has meant so much to me.