If you’re anything like me, I’m guessing the adult editor in you can really kick your butt from time to time.
Lots of different terms for this guy, but I think of him as the one looking over your shoulder and whispering things like “No one is ever gonna cut this”, “Bad idea”, and my favorite: You have no business in this business"!
Almost every writer or artist I coach has mentioned this. Might be called writer's block, the well's dry, whatever. How do you get past it?
Years ago a friend of mine described me during a session as a six-year-old with a six string. I’ll take that. Anything to get to the place of just having fun writing. Sure it gets more serious at some point. You have to have a seamless lyric, a great melody, some structure, and more; but you know what? It all starts with throwing all that out and just having fun.
A six-year-old will take every crayon you give them and just create. I’m always trying to get back to that mentality. A six-year-old is fearless. I want to be fearless when I write. A six-year-old has no editor. I want to have no editor when I start to write. A six-year-old doesn’t care who likes it, who’ll buy it, what will someone think of their talent, how far will this take them, if this new creation will pay the mortgage. Nope. It’s all FUN!
Sure we’re adults and all this will creep in and creep us out from time to time. But the ability to just get started like that inner kid is the deal. Might be why it's called "playing" guitar.
Here's to the six-year-old with a six string in all of us…have fun!
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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About Mark Cawley
Mark Cawley is a hit U.S. songwriter and musician who coaches other writers and artists to reach their creative and professional goals. During his decades in the music business he has procured a long list of cuts with legendary artists ranging from Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross to Wynonna Judd, Kathy Mattea, Russ Taff, Paul Carrack, Will Downing, Tom Scott, Billie Piper, Pop Idol winners and The Spice Girls. To date his songs have been on more than 16 million records. Mark’s resume includes hits on the Pop, Country, R&B, Jazz, and Rock charts and several publishing deals with the likes of Virgin, Windswept Pacific, and Steelworks/Universal. Mark calls on his decades of experience in the publishing world, as an artist on major labels, co-writer with everyone from Eliot Kennedy and Burt Bacharach to Simon Climie and Kye Fleming, composing, and recording to mentor clients around the globe with iDoCoach. He is also a judge for the UK Songwriting Contest, a contributing author to USA Songwriting, Songwriter Magazine, , sponsor for the ASA, judge for Belmont University's Commercial Music program and West Coast Songwriter events , a popular blogger and, from time to time, conducts his own workshops including ASCAP, BMI and Sweetwater Sound. Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, Mark has also lived in Boston, L.A., Indianapolis, London, and the last 20 years in Nashville, TN.