My wife is a songwriter. And, as she patiently explained to me this evening, I am not a songwriter.
I have written poems, short stories, a Twitter stream, even tried my hand at a screenplay once. But I have no clue how to write a song. There is something about dead lyrics on a page that stops me from ever seeing the potential song that could be written. And since my last foray into music was a half-hearted attempt to learn to play jaw harp, there is not much chance of me bringing one of my poems to life anytime soon with some catchy rhythms and nice melodies. I just do not have that talent. My wife does. And many of our friends do as well.
But it is still something I would like to explore. I read my wife’s blog every day, looking for parallels between the songwriting scene and the worlds of creativity that I know more about (i.e., my college days of short-story writing, and my present-day occupation of software development). Maybe I need to dig a little deeper.
I think what really got me thinking about this idea of writing lyrics was a recent post from her new blog – A Songwriting Scene Challenge.
The challenge is this: Write a song with the name of a favorite book somewhere in the lyrics. I thought, “That’s great! I have lots of favorite books.” And I can write poems, on occasion. And I LOVE WORDS of all types. But I still do not know how to build dead lyrics into a song centered around a favorite book title, even if it feels like I should be able to.
What do you think? Anybody have tips on how to transition from non-songwriting writing, over to lyricist for folk-singing songwriter wife?