Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Creative Voice

Last week, as I worked from home and wrote new music, I realized the biggest challenge in songwriting is to find my own voice. Particularly, in writing lyrics [or these blog posts], it's difficult to voice who I am and to articulate my own paradigms.

I have noticed that it's much easier for me to emulate some artist or songwriter, as if I were writing a song for them, than it is for me to simply create something original. In fact, many of the songs I've written have been emulations of some famous artist. In many of these instances, I can tell you the exact song I was trying to emulate. [But I won't, because then you'll never be able to shake the comparison!]

Steven Pressfield [must reading for anyone who works creatively] says that our aim as artists is to "get better, go deeper, and work closer to the bone."

I love that phrase, and I am trying to allow it to guide my work. I feel like I am brand new to this journey, despite the fact that I've been songwriting for over a decade.

I think, in the end, it takes time and practice to find one's own voice. Habits must be undertaken; disciplines adhered to; reps "repped." So, I am beginning to work hard to do these things.

How about you? Have you found your own unique creative voice? Or are you still chasing it?


Aidan Rogers said...

I think I'm always looking for my voice. I read a lot of blogs, look at a lot of bloggers, and of course, read a lot of books and there are certainly guys I want to emulate in some form, guys I think got it right. But God has also blessed me with an insight into what I'M doing and I catch on pretty quickly when it's not my voice. Then I just get all angsty and let it pour raw out of me and figure on polishing it up later. I think that's maybe the best way to get at your heart as an artist: just pour it out and don't worry about what it looks like. Because the gift is in your voice and the skill is in your hands, and we should never confuse the two. Let our gift pour out of us, then let our talent/skill make it worthy of our calling. At least, that's how it works around this heart.

Terry said...

I agree--I'm still so new to this approach that it's hard to know when it's me, and when it's something else. I'm hoping that over time, it will get easier to distinguish as well as you are able to!

Aidan Rogers said...

It's certainly a trick. But once you make that first realization, it will eat at you every little time and you'll become more and more aware of when you're getting out of yourself and into someone else. You know, like when someone points out that you (annoying habit) all the time and you never realized it, then all of a sudden, you realize it OVER and OVER and OVER again and you're like...huh. I guess I do. Now that you've pointed out your getting out of your voice to yourself, you'll start to see it more easily.