Monday, August 2, 2010

Such An Amateur

Inspiration is for amateurs? Maybe. Well... its possible. Okay I'm sure it probably is. It can be a wonderful tool when its available, however, the simple fact is that it just isn't always available. Furthermore, a full reliance on inspiration alone can be crippling to one's creative endeavors. I'm sure of this.

Of all the songs I've ever written I can honestly say only a few of them were 100% born and brought to fruition - from beginning to end - of pure inspiration. So often when speaking to people they say things like, "...don't worry about it, you just gotta let it come" or "you can't force a song, you can't sit down to write a song, you gotta let it flow." I beg to differ. Sure, I believe you shouldn't force a lyric and you should work and craft till you find the right touch. Key word: work. If I adhered strictly to the "let-it-flow" mold of thinking my entire catalogue of songs would come down to two or three... maybe.

I have a specific song to post with this blog and a reason for posting it. This is a brand new song and I really, really disliked this song and everything about the process of writing it from the beginning to the end, so much so that I actually scrapped the song several times but eventually finished it out of sheer discipline. Ironically, upon completion (and not a moment before) I actually came to really enjoy the song and appreciate how it was different from the stuff I typically write, almost like a painting that looked and felt like a mess but once it was finished and I could step back I was glad I finished it, even if it was simply out of discipline.

Chuck Close, an extremely successful and gifted painter said this in an interview:

Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work and the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will, through work, bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never dream up if you were just sitting around looking for a great art idea. And that a belief in that the process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel everyday. Today you know what you will do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday and tomorrow you are going to do what you did today and at least for a certain period of time if you can just work to hang in there, you will get somewhere.

And I think in one paragraph he pretty much summed up the Rising Street blog. I especially liked what he said about things growing out of the activity itself and believing in the process. I'm not nearly as disciplined as I should be. And I am definitely an amateur. But I'm working to rely more and more on work and less and less on inspiration. This song is a testament.

you are the one

***rough demo recorded in garageband on my computer with an acoustic and rhodes keys -- for some reason soundcloud has not been consistent and so if its not working just click the "you are the one" song title and it will take you to the page where you can listen to it there


  1. Possibly a favorite blog and a favorite song for me amongst the more-than-talented collection of Yoder material I've heard. Beautiful.

  2. Good word, Glen! I know you are payin' the dues to achieve the mastery of your craft. Thanks for the encouragement.