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  • Jay Lewallen

Why Be a Songwriter?

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

What drives a person to be a songwriter? What drives a person to be an artist? A chance to dance with the muse? Something to talk about at cocktail parties?! Maybe. But. I believe it is not something that you say you are going to do, it is just something that you do because it is inside of you and it needs to come out. I can' t imagine that a songwriter ever said they did it just for money. Getting paid is nice but there has to be more to it than that. There must be an ongoing inner urge to create.


I have been in spells where I did not write much because there did not seem to be a need. But, even during those times, I jotted down ideas, half baked lyrics going nowhere. I recorded some chords and melodies that weren't very good! I guess that if a person is a real songwriter, they have scads of pieces of paper with half baked ideas written down (or the computer equivalent these days). I have several file folders and 3 ring binders with stuff I have kept for years and can't seem to throw away. I think I will go back to them but never do. This is evidence that it has to come out, the bad ideas with the good ideas.


And then occasionally, you feel like you hit the gold mine after a lot of panning. Something comes together that actually turns into a song and you feel it. It is quite satisfying, but it is temporary. Hopefully, you get a good recording and have some fun with it. But, before too long you are off jotting down new ideas and coming up with new melodies in your head. It really never ends and I hope it doesn't.

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