I’m sure all artists go through phases where they wonder, perhaps a tad fearfully, if they’ve already said everything they needed to say, created everything they needed to create.
Lately I find myself wondering this about my own songwriting — and indeed, my other writing habits, too.
When I started songwriting that cold December back in 2011, it seemed I had TONS to say. Every two weeks, sometimes every week, I turned out another song. I wrote about love, loss, the human condition, when relationships go bad, everything. I wrote about the things that made me angry, made me frustrated, made me sad. There was an endless well of words and melodies in the depths of my psyche, waiting to be used.
Then last summer hit.
There was no earth-shattering event, no single thing I can point to that happened, but I began writing less and less. I did grow disillusioned with the local music scene for a while, but I returned to church, renewed my faith, renewed my sense of purpose… And still, the words dried up.
The last song I wrote was “Old Farm Truck,” and I feel it is one of my best, about a topic I hold very dear. That was at the end of harvest in October. I have completed nothing since. It’s almost like I only had things to write about so long as I had all this pent-up frustration that wasn’t being actively dealt with. As soon as I got past all the unpleasantness, as soon as I wrote it all until there was no more left….
I have no illusions (disillusions?) about being “through” or “finished” or anything of the sort. I live for music and that is never going to change. But sometimes I wonder:
Have I already said everything I needed to say? Are there any more songs inside me?