I recently responded to a post in one of the songwriter groups I’m in, and I wanted to share the gist of the exchange with you.
The poster, wrote, in essence (I’m paraphrasing here): ‘I set out to write a dark song, but it’s coming out much more positive and upbeat than I intended. Should I switch to a minor key to get back to the dark song that I intended?’ The poster went on to say that he seldom finished songs he’d started, and really wanted to make a go of this one.
My answer? “Don’t deny the muse. Many songs take on a life of their own as they develop, which is really your authentic self injecting whatever the music and lyrics are making you feel as you create them. Keep going and see what develops, and then polish it to be the final product that it wants to become. You can save your ‘dark’ instincts for the next one. If, as you say, you don’t seem to finish too many songs you start, maybe this is partly why – don’t fight what your heart and soul are telling you this particular song is supposed to be.”
Art and creation are wonderful things – and the very expression of them, can inspire us to even greater heights of creativity. Like an athlete, we can really get into the zone when we get into writing a song. Some describe it as a feeling that we are merely channeling some higher being who is providing us their words and music. I prefer to think that it’s the process energizing the art and creativity that’s within us.
Or, maybe they’re right. Maybe it’s the muse.
Don’t deny the muse.