Tag Archives: Songwriters

Songwriters Circle January Challenge 2012

How to write songs – redux

So it’s nearly that time of year again. We are all looking round for new things to do and I was looking back and reflecting on things I enjoyed last year. One jumped out as being worth repeating. I’m going to have another go at the Songwriters Circle January Challenge.

Now here’s my disclaimer: I worked on the original challenge last year & even wrote a tiny bit of content for it. Andy is my partner so I’m involved. He’s upstairs right now recording new material for this year’s challenge and I can hear the gentle strains of the guitar.

You could write more songs in the next 30 days than you have in the last 5 years with….

Songwriters Circle January Challenge 2012

The 2012 Songwriters Circle January Challenge
Have you fallen into one of the worst traps for song writers?
Let the January Challenge help you….

Do you feel you have to wait to be inspired?

That a song will just pop into your head and all you should  do is write it down?

If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions you have fallen for one of the most destructive and persistent myths of song-writing.

Now let’s just be clear, I write but I’m not a musician or a singer. The challenge for me is all about stepping out of my cosy writing comfort zone and doing something new and disconcerting. One of the things I learned last year is that writing songs is wildly different to writing poetry. Harder and more interesting. Most artists of any kind thrive on playing with limitations and song-writing provides me with a whole new set of those.

The Challenge consists of 30 days of short posts and videos suggesting exercises to free you up and get you writing songs. Takes around 30 minutes a day. Costs less than a latte and better for you!

I’d love it if anyone wanted to join me! I’m going to post some of my results here, if I’m brave enough! I was  chicken last year and mostly only shared them in the private area but hey, I’m a veteran now :-) and I’ve less regard for my inner critic these days! Last year I finished 2 songs I was pleased with by the end of the 30 days. The best one was Twelve Bar Blues which Andy set to music and which I am unreasonably proud of!! You can hear it at the bottom of this post.

Along the way I used other material I’d generated for a couple of poems and a short story. It unblocked my creative writing. That was one of the main things I took away from the course.  Creative unlocking  like this spills over into everything creative that you do.

Feel like joining us? Songwriters Circle January Challenge
Clean Livin Blues by andyroberts

12 Bar Blues

I done wrote a blues!

With vast amounts of help from Andy!

Clean Livin’ Blues with lyrics by Linda Hartley and Andy Roberts for the Songwriters Circle Challenge Week

Clean Livin Blues by andyroberts

Lyrics:

I looked out this morning and the sun was shining bright
I looked out this morning and the sun was shining bright
My baby was sleeping, least I think so, her eyes were shut tight

I said wake up darling, get up and let’s go out down town,
I said wake up darling, get up and let’s go out down town,
She opened one eye, turned over, stared and gave me a one eyed frown.

She got out of the bed and she tied her hair up real tight
She got out of the bed and she tied her hair up real tight
put on her old clothes went down into the broom cupboard and out of sight

She came back into the room, looked at the walls and began to clean.
She came back into the room, looked at the walls and began to clean.
Her arms they were jerking and her mouth was kinda mean.

when my baby’s got a mind to cleaning, there ain’t no room for me
when my baby’s got a mind to cleaning, there ain’t no room for me
with my clean living woman, while the sun shines I won’t ever be free

Songwriters Circle

Songwriters Circle
Songwriters Circle

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time this month getting involved in a new project with Andy, The Songwriters Circle. There’s the website  and a Songwriters Circle Facebook page.

I’m doing the January Challenge with the aim of writing one song I’m happy with by the end of the month. There are quite a few songwriters both new and experienced involved and it’s great fun. I’ve never written a song before and it’s fascinating to play with a new way of writing. I’ve been blogging about in the private community area.

I always enjoy working on projects with Andy and have done ever since we did the degree. This one is turning out to be a real treat as I’m  helping to plan the structure of the month, building up the site/community and allowing my creative side out to play actually doing the challenge.Very satisfying and I’m learning lots.