I’ve written quite a bit about Mary Gauthier and her adoption story. And sometimes I get the feeling that it’s far more acceptable to speak out as an adoptee than it is to speak out about being somebody’s step child. There’s so much more pressure to accept the step dad or the step mom – somehow, people empathize more about being adopted.
I really enjoyed this week’s guest in our weekly NSAI workshop, Jim Feming, author of A Songwriter’s Guide to Conquering Nashville. It’s very informative. We’ve all heard how Nashville is about the music business and the tough guy attitude that’s required. Another thing he stresses quite a bit is knowing your specific goal as a songwriter. That way you’ll know what you’re shooting for in everything you do.
I’m far more drawn to Mary Gauthier’s songwriting philosophy (see the “Letter” on my landing page). A few standout paragraphs are:
Songwriting is a noble calling that requires more than talent and perseverance. It requires courage. If you are willing to face yourself and honestly reveal in your songs what you’ve seen in that unveiling of yourself, then you have a chance of writing songs that will outlive you… The object of art is not to make salable products. It is to save one’s self, and to be a part of saving us all. Either we tell our story, or our story tells us.
And know this: A half-truth is a whole lie. Character, like integrity, is much easier kept than recovered. So write from your true self, not the self you think you should be.
A deep grounding in solitude is necessary to remain vital and creative. Solitude courts the muse. So know this: you have chosen a lonely path.
Writing about the truth has always attracted me and I continue to do so through my music. And should I get lucky enough to attract the attention of a major artist who will want to cut one of my songs some day, well, that would truly be something to celebrate.
In the meantime, I must be true to myself and write from the heart, a lonely pursuit, indeed.