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Where do songs come from?

ButterflyWhen you get an idea and start a project, have you ever wondered where songs come from?

I may be driving down the road and a tune fragment will start playing in my head. Something is going on just below the surface in my subconscious.

I’ll be talking with someone or responding to a text and lyrics start popping up in my head.

What is inspiration? Where does it come from? I think this is an age old, unanswered question. We could personify it and give the Muse a name. When she visits (Made the Muse a “she” per Greek tradition), I have to be ready with paper and pen or recording device. The idea needs to be captured like a short lived butterfly or it will fade away, just out of reach.

Beware of that internal negative filter, always lurking, waiting to discard and suspend any pursuit of a new idea. Have you ever heard that voice say “Oh, that’s not good enough” or “That’s just stupid” or “Those lyrics will never work”? Just let it be. Don’t grade it, critique it, bury it. Let it be whatever it is going to be. Let it be expressed. Ideas build on themselves or begets the next concept. Keep open and see where it leads. That’s the joy of it. That’s what art is about.

I’m not sure which is worse: the internal negative feedback or external soul suckers. Surely, you’ve encountered the soul suckers. You know them by how you feel after talking to them. They attack your self esteem, belittle your efforts in the guise of a friendly tone. You don’t see it coming because their passive aggressive tactics are honed to a sharp and efficient edge. You don’t feel the cut until they’ve moved on and let you wondering what just happened. Actually, it’s their issue, not yours. it’s their self esteem that has the problem, not you. Yeah, it hurts when it’s your sibling or friend but you need to learn who to let close to your art, who to share your raw concepts with.

But if you love creating  and distance yourself from the naysayers, the ideas will keep coming. Actually they are always there, you just need to be open and ready.

What is “good” anyway? If you enjoy the creative process, keep going. If you find people who also enjoy your creations, keep them in your inner circle. Feedback such as “you could try this” or “have you thought of that” is welcomed and helpful.

Still no answer to where the ideas come from or how they form but do know that openness and encouragement keeps them coming. There is joy in the journey and wonder at the destinations along the way. Here’s to the path that lies ahead….