Songs that write themselves.

In all my years of songwriting (which are many) and listening to other songwriters I have discovered a great song can write itself. Let me explain…

I have written a lot of songs and write more often as I get older. I would never presume to have written great songs but I have noticed that the songs that catch people’s attention or move them are the ones that I don’t really remember writing. It’s like they kind of wrote themselves. I am not in any way religious but I feel that my subconscious is doing the work for me. It’s like I finish a song and then think ‘how the heck did that happen’. I have a song for the Relay for Life, which gets a lot of attention and when people ask me about the lyrics, I really have no idea how they came to be. And I’m not a flake (or on drugs)… honest!

There is the songwriting school of thought that says that a great song takes many hours of writing, re-writing, altering and re-writing some more. But after watching an interview with Paul MacCartney talking about waking up one morning and having ‘Yesterday’ in his head and being convinced that it was an existing song, I came to conclusion that great songs happen while writing other songs. ‘Yesterday’ has got to be one of the greatest songs ever written.

So my goal of writing and recording a song a week (which I am now in week 18) has forced me to write lots. I try to be a few weeks ahead to allow for illness and vacation and have found that my best songs happen out of nowhere while trying to write other songs. I am not averse to hard work, in fact I love it, I just believe that if I write enough songs then a few of them will be good and maybe one day I will have a great one!

In conclusion, rather than spend a month writing and shaping one song, I would rather write twenty songs and get one good one because I learn from every one that I write, especially the bad ones!

How do you write songs?



  1. I have a friend who is a songwriter and he has said basically the same thing. One day as he was driving home from a songwriting conference he had to pull the van over and write down the song that was coming to him.

    P.S. He is our Relay for Life entertainment chair, and this year wrote a song for Relay titled “Show us Your Hope”

    An Arkies Musings

  2. Sometimes I write in the shower. I dreamt a play once and wrote it at 3am. I wrote a full length screenplay in 3 weeks as I felt like I was just dictating it to my fingers. Writers write. Isn’t that something? 😉 Love you woman!! Keep that powerful enthusiasm and all good things will continue to follow you. Love your recent blogs. Congrats on the show, looking forward to it…and “Q” will find you. 😉

  3. I myself write tons of songs. I never stop. I don’t even think I can stop. I’m always working on a new idea. They can come to me at any time, day or night. Some songs come out during band rehearsals. Some songs come out when I’m alone. Not sure how exactly it works, but I do know that if I didn’t write songs I wouldn’t really feel like myself.

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