By Maddie Sersic
Writing your own original songs is an odd sensation. One moment you could be sitting in your room with the window cracked, when suddenly a breeze gives you a slight chill, making your chronically frigid toes even colder. All at once words flood your mind, phrases and feelings burst open, you start humming, run to your guitar, and a full-fledged song is born in the next hour. Or maybe other times you experience something so painful or so joyful that the song doesn’t come to you on a pretty breeze through your cracked window, it comes out as word-vomit, as if the song itself is clawing its way out of you.
As the days go by you watch yourself develop. You watch the regular G, C, D Major, E Minor chords fade, and new unique chords are found. You rhyme less and express more, your words suddenly find meaning, deep meaning, and maybe the story only makes sense to you but that’s all that matters now. You begin to think “Is it bad that my own song is stuck in my head?” “Is that narcissistic?” You answer these questions, no and no. You gain confidence and start to realize that in the music business confidence is your best friend. Confidence will allow for rejection, it will allow you to embrace that rejection and grow from it. It is knowing that you are enough, and pretty damn talented at that.
Next comes the sharing phase. Maybe you have always shared, or maybe it makes you nervous to do so. The thought of people seeing into your vulnerability and criticizing your expression of that is both hauntingly exciting, and absolutely terrifying. Art begs to be shared- so you do it anyway. A close friend, your mother, and your guitar teacher are the first to hear. The feedback is powerful, the positive reviews and the overwhelming belief bestowed upon you makes you feel confused. You realized your talent, but never would have dreamt of such a reaction. Soon, musicians hear you practice in a small guitar shop, local bands and band members comment on your original songs, the words “talent,” “potential,” “creative” are thrown left and right. All you wanted was to express yourself, but the bare honesty and your distinct voice draws people in. You deem yourself a song writer, a story teller if you will, and continue to do just that.
Eight original songs, good songs, are now in your repertoire, plans are made for you by people who believe in you. So much overwhelming belief. You are taken to a recording studio. You sit in a room where tapestries hang on the walls and fairy lights sparkle in the corner of your eye. Musicians have come to back you so you sit down for a run-through. Time flies, 1 hour becomes 3, 3 becomes 5 and you come out with a raw mixed EP. You smile to yourself as you discuss the next steps for a professional album. The producer compares you to Joni Mitchel, and other artists. You don’t see the resemblance, but it warms you to hear others views.
You gain more confidence and share at a conference’s talent show. Anxiety has always been second nature to you but your friends push you, art demands to be shared- so you do it anyway. Your hand starts to shake and your voice quiver before you even sing the first note. You remember everything you were taught; the confidence you have gained. You take 3 deep breathes and begin. You kill it, your original song played in front of an audience for the very first time. The applause is loud and supportive. Afterwards, a girl comes up to you and introduces herself. She happens to be the daughter of a big time record label executive and wants to set up a meeting. You are completely and utterly shocked; you laugh for a moment figuring it was only a joke. She stares at you without change. You exchange information, call your mother, and let it soak in.
Time passes, you write more songs and ponder more life decisions. You realize who you are, an expressionist, a biology lover, a fighter, a writer, a musician. You think about the path you want to go down, you really think. You have so many passions and so many dreams that you decide to be all of you; the biology lover, the fighter, the writer, the musician, and the expressionist. You decide not to choose, and that becomes your decision.