When I was at University I studied, briefly, poetry in my creative writing class. I’ve never really been a big fan of poetry, which is weird because I write music/songs, but I gave it my best shot.
We had to write around 4 or 5 different poems in different styles. Don’t ask me to tell you the different types of poems because I don’t recall, nor do I particularly care (no offense to poetry writers or lovers out there.) I think I’m just feeling biased today.
Anyway, I tried my best, handed my portfolio in, and went about my life as usual. When I received my assignment back I wasn’t all that surprised with the marks. There was only one poem I got top marks for, and it was the easiest; all the others I had to think about the stanzas and the rhymes, the doing words and the onomatopoeia’s, but the top marks one was free-flowing – no rules, no constrictions – and it was the one where I could truly express myself.
And it was sorrowful. It had essence of blame, hurt, and guilt. The teacher praised me for it and I thought, “great, I’m one of those depressive people, aren’t I?”
What I’m trying to get at is that I don’t think we can express anything different than what we’re feeling. At the time I wrote those poems I was going through a lot. Anxiety, fear, pain, sadness, loneliness, and I was still carrying around a majority of my past that I couldn’t let go of.
Sometimes my partner asks me, “when are you going to write a happy song?” and I wonder the same thing myself. All that comes out of me, creatively, at the moment is never hitch-up-your-pants fun. When I try and force myself to write something a little more mainstream, I become flustered and annoyed, often angry, and it can pull me away from my love of music.
I’ve come to realise that I won’t ever be able to create anything different than what I currently feel at this time in my life, and probably more importantly, I can’t create anything I don’t feel inside. That’s not to say I’m not a happy person, of course I am! I see blessings in my life where ever I go, but I can’t ignore what comes naturally to me.
If, at this time in my life, that means I have to keep belting out romantic songs with slow melodies, then that’s what I have to do. If I have to write another classically-styled piece of music because that’s what my heart is crying out to express, then so be it.
So today, I will start to listen more to myself. I encourage you to do the same.