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Take Courage...Write! 

I'm sitting at home on my couch, it's late, and I am waiting for my baby to wake up to nurse before I pack it all in for the night. 

A year ago, I had no idea that within one year I would not only be releasing a new record, but also mother to a three month old. The depth of these miracles is so profound - Just two years ago, vocal surgery would begin the healing journey for my voice. I had "lost" it due to an intubation injury, and it hadn't worked properly for well over a year and a half. It was one of the…Read more

So, that didn't happen... 

My last blog post was about a songwriter challenge that I signed up for. In short, I didn't do it...not one bit of it, actually. ironically, I wrote a lot of songs during that time period.

What I figured out was that I needed a break from collaborating, from pouring into other people, other projects...not forever, but for a time. What I have really been craving is inspiration. I think that in order to get that, you need to introduce something new to the mix, and for me that meant stepping away from a…Read more

SAC Songwriting Challenge 2015 

So, in partnership with SOCAN, the Songwriter's Association of Canada, an organization I've worked for (still do) and have been a member of for a while, has issued a 6-week challenge to a select group of its members. It will involve weekly songwriting challenges, as well as the opportunity to "pitch" a working recording artist. I decided to opt in because I need a bit of a nudge of late.

Discouragement, apathy, cynicism...These don't make for a great songwriting fodder...Unless you're writing. And I haven't…Read more

Time and Place 

As songwriters, we all want to write the song that everyone loves, don't we? I do. We feel this so keenly that we can be quite dismayed when, after we've played a song, no one says a thing about it. Worse, dealing with critique can be really disheartening, especially when that critique comes from people you love or respect.
Now, I am the first one to say that we need to be objective about our songs, and ready to 'tweak or trash' (that sounds like a title for a new blog…hmmm…stay tuned!) but I am not immune…Read more

Inspiration Vitamins 

If only there was a way to package up inspiration into some sort of vitamin form. We'd stumble out of bed in the morning (well, most musicians I know stumble out of bed) and head for the bottle - of inspiration capsules! "Take one or two daily for a boost of energy, probable epiphany and near-certain productivity. Do not exceed recommended dosage lest your heart explode with enthusiasm."

If only.

Inspiration, the Muse, is very real. In fact, I think little kids have it in abundance. For them, all things are…Read more

A Few Thoughts Post Juno Songwriters' Circle 2014 

I was blessed enough to be at an industry brunch today - a chance to meet some new people and reconnect with some I already know. Networking. Scary sometimes, but absolutely necessary in the field of music. And as one conversation and handshake leads to another, I ended up chatting with Tom Wilson from Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, meeting his daughter and manager Madeline who graciously offered me a pass to the Juno Songwriters Circle (hosted by SOCAN) I am favoured today (thank you Madeline!)

The circle was…Read more

Answer the Question 

I'll never forget sitting in a songwriting circle a number of years ago. The idea was that we would each take a turn playing a song we were working on and get some feedback from our peers. In reality, critique was minimal for a variety of reasons, but that's for another blog, perhaps...

Someone in our group opted to play a song already released on an independent album. The lyric began with a question. What followed were more questions. I could see perplexed looks on people's faces as the song played on - we…Read more

Kick Out the Editor 

A few years ago, I read some advice by writing coach Julia Cameron (www.juliacameronlive.com): when you are in creative mode, you need to kick out your internal Editor (please bear with my paraphrasing) The internal Editor is that voice that is constantly critiquing every word we put to the page; every note we sound out and the way we string notes together. The editor has a role to play, to be sure - but not until the creative process has run its course. Then she can nip, tuck, improve upon or scrap - but…Read more

CoWriting: Find Your Spot on the Boat  

CoWriting can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re first starting out. Most of us first start as songwriters who write when the inspiration hits us, often taking our time over our songs. Making the decision to get into a room with other people to create something together is quite an adventure, and requires adjustments that some can make more readily than others. When there are dynamic personalities, people throwing out all kinds of ideas, a new cowriter can feel lost, or a bit left behind.
 
My friend…Read more

Thought: Co writing helps your song be LESS PERSONAL, and THAT'S A GOOD THING. 

When I first started writing and recording, I had no real understanding of collaboration. In fact, I remember feeling weird about having another singer sing my back up lines on my record - wouldn't that make people think I wasn't capable of doing it myself? Ha! That was crazy thinking, and a lot has changed since then.

Funnily enough, though, after coming around to realizing how awesome cowriting is and releasing "Happiness", there was a reviewer who gave my record an average mark on the basis that I had…Read more
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