Six songs in six weeks – I did it! And I even like some of them.
Here are a few observations in response to Lily Cheng’s (SAC Communications & Social Media person) questions about our Songwriting Challenge experience.
I do think I needed to be better prepared with respect to the technology I’d need to participate fully. A large chunk of time I had set aside for songwriting was spent surmounting technological obstacles, due either to lack of proper gear or lack of knowledge. I wasn’t expecting that and found it frustrating. I did get some good advice from fellow songwriters in the challenge that helped me (almost) catch up.
I started off trying to read everyone’s posts and listen to everyone’s songs. I soon realized that there was not enough time to do this each week so I listened to excerpts here and there. Maybe 100+ songwriters is too big a group to really interact with everyone.
As much as each new challenge seemed like a shock – What?! I’ve never written a [fill in the blank] song before! – it was also freeing to be able to write for someone else’s voice, try on someone else’s perspective, imagine songs in different settings. It allowed me to stray from my usual earnest folk song style. Instead of drawing from personal experience, I could play make-believe, be a different persona and see where that game lead me.
Listening to other participants’ songs was both stimulating and intimidating. Such talent! And so many interpretations of the same challenge. Meeting fellow songwriters – both virtually and in person – was a big bonus for me. Thanks for the long-distance collaboration, Todd Wandio, and thanks for visiting Elora, Mikalyn & Michael. I have appreciated the words of advice & encouragement from both James and Debra, our songwriting coaches, as well as other participants.
Would I do it again? I found it more time consuming than I expected and had trouble keeping up with the challenges alongside my work schedule. I might do a similar challenge if I had an arrangement with a friend who could do the recording/mixing for me and I’d be able to focus on the songwriting and performing.
It’s been a couple of weeks since our last song was posted and yet people are still connecting on the song challenge FB page. As much as it was time consuming, demanding & challenging folks aren’t quite ready to let go of the virtual community created in the past few weeks.
I wish my fellow songwriters many visits from the “song fairy” and continued creative success. I’ll watch for your names in liner notes, movie credits, Juno nominations…