I’ve been struggling with writing songs a lot lately. Not like writing songs and struggling with the how or when of writing but more like struggling whether I should write them at all. Does the world need more songs? And bad ones at that, because it takes a certain level of skill and experience which I can’t expect to have yet. Of course you could ask, why do you do all this thinking? Just sit down and do it, for God’s sake!
I’ll answer this question later, but today I’ll say this. I have come to the not unsurprising conclusion that the world really needs more bad songs. Just imagine, if everyone wrote them. You could swap songs with your friends. You’d have meetings where everybody could sing their songs to each other. This would certainly be fun. And I’m sure that the songs wouldn’t stay bad.
I know a lot of jazz musicians. Not very good jazz musicians. More like myself, the ones that say that they’re “semi-professional” (shudder). All of them keep playing the same songs over and over again. The millionth rendition of “My funny valentine”. A song that I never liked very much. And Chet Baker did it better. I know. He recorded it. But a lot of those somewhat mediocre jazz musicians are also writing their own songs.
And always those songs are more interesting to me than the same old same old jazz standards. They are authentic, they are fresh. What would you be more interested in? A rendition of an old song that you could play along to in your sleep? Or something original by a friend?
But apart from the end-product which might be interesting or not there is something to be said for people being creative. Like all that blog-writing going on. Creative people are happy people. Creativity feeds the soul. There is something ultimately fulfilling in being creative, even if it exhausts you.
So in addition to the myriad of projects that I have going on, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. That’s National Novel Writing month. Every year in November the insane and crazy sign up to write 50,000 words of a novel in one month.
When I contemplated doing it, my husband made me promise that I would not. Well, not promise, but we had one of those talks, where he talks and talks in his very sincere voice and I nod a lot, and at the end I said, “Okay, you’re right. I won’t do it.” And he said, “It’s your decision. You have to decide.” And I said, “No, you’re right, I won’t be doing it.”
Well, I changed my mind. So, my challenge is not only to write 50,000 words on a novel in November, but to do it in a way that it doesn’t interfere with the rest of my life and in a way that my husband won’t notice too much. Wait and see.