Monday, July 30, 2012

The Dreams we Dream

The dreams we dream are precious little things. 


***A sincere desire of mine***

I'd like to encourage every soul I meet
to believe in their dreams.


I didn't realize it in the beginning. I thought once I decided to trust my inner yearnings to be a performing songwriter,  the path would be filled with roses and fun and fulfillment.  And there definitely has been a lot of that!


But the truth is, it's been hard too.  Mainly because I soon fell victim to a common plight. It's called:

***Second Guessing***

And it's not a pretty path 
once embarked upon.
Believe you me!

About six or so years ago, I was invited to a song school with an amazing Nashville hit songwriter who was giving a two day seminar on how to write great songs.  I learned valuable things about the craft of songwriting and I still refer to those notes every so often to make sure I'm incorporating his ideas.  
At song school, we were expected, though not required, to perform one of our songs we were working on for critiquing by the teacher and our peers, fellow songwriters.  I performed a song I had written about a Vietnam veteran I knew. I put my heart and soul into the performance, though my voice was shaky for nerves and my fingers were visibly trembling while playing my guitar, for being in front of so many accomplished musicians.  By the end of my performance, I could tell the teacher didn't like the song.  Boy oh boy,  I wanted to run, run, run from that room after the performance and hide in a cave rather than sit through his critique. I don't remember a word he said about how to improve it, his only positive comment was that he liked my voice.  Good grief!

I went through a very tough period in my song-writing after that, where I didn't like anything I'd write.  I would spend a couple hours developing an idea for a song, then I'd spend the next two weeks or so erasing, tweaking, re-arranging, basically killing the original idea with a razor sharp analytical knife of unobtainable perfectionism.  

***A truth I've learned about creativity***

It will shrivel and die if put under
an eye of harsh criticism.
 Much like a little child.

The dreams we dream are fragile little things.
 
My Grandma used to have a saying when I was little.  She'd say, "You can always get more with honey than vinegar."  So profound!

The same holds true for our inner artist.  It's hard to do, but we have to allow ourselves to be a beginner with our creative endeavors, which means we might look silly, clumsy, juvenile, foolish. As an adult, it's easy to compare ourselves to other adults who have been 'at it' longer and who are more accomplished.

The comparing game stops creativity dead in it's tracks since nothing measures up to those who are more experienced.  It also plays tricks with your mind.  Some of the common voices in my head, beastly voices, would say terrible things to me like: "Who do you think you are?"..... "What makes you think you can be a song-writer?".... "You're not fooling anyone"...."That idea has been done before and better".... "so and so has a WAY better voice than you".... 

The dreams we dream are perilous little things.
Those ghostly attacks, whether real or imagined, were very convincing for a time.  I'm sorry to say, there's many a song that fell by the way side because I bought into the beastly ghost voices.  Looking back, I realize how sad that is.

***I'm still learning***

Be very careful to safeguard your dreams.
You will be led to new sources of 
support as you learn to 
trust yourself. 

After that first song school, I applied a determination and zeal to my writing that I hadn't done before. I contemplated giving up.  But there was a part of me inside that wanted to prove to myself that I could do this, and do it well.  I had to get to work and write, write, write in order to access my inner creativity and find my true voice as a writer. This meant re-connecting with my source.  Prayer.  Mother Teresa stated, "Everything starts from prayer."  I think this is so very true, too.  

Affirmations are also a very powerful antidote for self-doubt and second guessing. One of my favorites: "I can totally kick butt at this. I'm super tough. Piece of cake." :)

It works.  I'm serious!

The dreams we dream are worth-while little things.

Recording an album has been a very exciting process for me: writing the songs, recording at June Audio Recording Studios, working with amazing musicians, making new friends, designing the artwork with my dream graphic artist... I'm so grateful.  The release date is August 15th, friends!!!

The dreams we dream are precious little things.  and they really do come true!

Big, Humongous love to you,   xoxo

Danielle