This month my heart said farewell to a very dear friend and fellow songwriter, Cindy Wilt Colville. She passed on July 10th as a result of lung cancer. Cindy and I often shared conversations about writing, and we understood when bad health days interfered with our writing. Even during her darkest days Cindy kept on writing and caring. You may read more of her obituary here.
Many of you will remember Cindy from her guest blog here on Carolana Songs in October 2013. In her honor I would like to reprint her comments about the importance of journaling.
WRITING YOUR LIFE
Reprinted with permission from cindywiltcolville.com and carolanasongs.com, October 2013
A valuable tool for capturing your life experience is journaling. This week I had a conversation with a songwriter who is in her first year of college. She is taking eighteen credit hours, so her plate is full. She told me she is committed to journaling every day. She is also engaging another tool to capture her life experiences, that is, to document any memorable events by writing them down on small pieces of paper and collecting them in a jar.
One key part of your songwriting life is your own life experience. It is the struggles, challenges and joys, successes and (to quote Bob Halligan, Jr.) the things that bug you that will inspire your songs and give them uniqueness. I believe that the desire to create songs is a gift that comes from God. It is your choice and opportunity to respond to this gift by doing the work it takes to write those songs.
I challenge you to journal: fifteen minutes every day for the next month. Set a timer and write whatever comes into your mind including scriptures, conversations, feelings, and any other details about your day. Do not edit anything you write. You will not have to show this to anyone. At the end of the month go back through your entries and highlight any insights and themes that have potential to be sources for song ideas. I would be very interested to hear if this discipline helps you to listen to your life.
I encourage you to write songs true to your own experience. Your most authentic creative expression will come from this place and have the greatest impact on those who hear your songs.
My dear friend, I will never sit at my writing desk without my heart missing your sweet spirit! Enjoy your new home, and I will see you at the Big House!