Last night, I put down my hook book after jotting down some half-way decent lyric ideas. I stopped writing, not because I ran out of creativity, but because my pen sucked. I just can’t write with a sucky pen.

I’m not really that much of a priss. I don’t have to wait for the 5th Tuesday in November when the moon is in the 7th house and Jupiter aligns with Mars. I can write songs just about anywhere, anytime. When it comes to ideal songwriting weather, however, there are a few things on my wish list.

  1. A good pen.
    When I am writing, it’s a lot of stops and starts. I think or feel or play or improv for a bit, then, when I know I’ve got something, I frantically write it down. I write fast, so I like a pen that’s smooth. I’ll resort to the average Bic, but I’m much happier with a free-flowing Uni-ball. Black, blue, pink. I don’t care about that. It’s the flow.
  2. Easy record and playback system.
    I use Voice Memos, an app on my iPhone. If you’ve been a fan for long, you know this system has backfired on me, but it’s the one that’s with me most of the time.

And now for some real dreaming…

  1. A feedback partner.
    So many times, I am part-way through writing something. I’m either already in love with the song, and wish I had someone to be like, “OMG! Isn’t this amazing!?!” Or I’m not in love with it. I’m stuck, knowing I need a little nudge from outside my box. If only I had a feedback partner to call and ask, “What the hell with this chorus?” I have participated in a songwriter’s circle, but that hasn’t given me exactly what I want, and hello? This is a wish list. I’m shooting high.
  2. Unlimited chord theory knowledge and ability.
    Often while writing, I hear things in my melodies that I cannot play. I can’t find the chord to match the direction the melody could go, so I’ve had to compromise. What if I could summon every possible chord that could work for a tricky spot in my song? What if I understood the relationships between the thousands of chords available to me? That shit makes me giddy.
  3. Instant ability to play other instruments.
    I can’t go back in time and continue the piano lessons I started at age 14. Man, do I wish I could play piano now. Or electric guitar. Or drums, or bass, or flute, or fiddle, or anything. Except maybe bagpipes. I love playing guitar, but what kinds of creativity could happen if I could play even one more instrument? Look at Prince! He mastered like 27 instruments! And *sigh* – his vocals!
  4. Regular leisure travel, preferably solo.
    New places and new experiences send my writing through the roof. I started two new songs on my recent trip to New Orleans, and finished another. Plus I wrote tons of snippets and brainstormed fun lyrics. In five days.
  5. Someone to manage my website.
    It needs an overhaul. Honestly – look around. I’d rather spend my creative energies elsewhere. Any takers? Cheap?
  6. Multiple voice coaches.
    And the funds and time to really study voice. I’ve learned so much from my current voice coach, Marlena Hooker-Moore. I want true command of my voice, and why settle on just one teacher? I might as well wish for a few.
  7. Time.
    Now, I am aware that this is partly in my control. I do block out time to write. In fact, I’m damn good at that. That doesn’t change the fact that I might have to stop in the middle of a great creative streak to go drop off a kid at her friend’s house or leave to go teach a lesson. I doubt I’d want to write songs full time, but I wish I had total control of my time. All the time.

Some of my songwriter friends added they would like a world tour, organized by someone else; roadies and sound engineers – free; and someone to create and manage merch. Those sound a little more like “performer’s wish list” items. Maybe that’ll be another post. In the meantime, we can dream.

Creative types! What’s on your wish list? Comment below!