Monday, June 24, 2013

Songwriting Retreat: Day 1

These posts date back one week, handwritten while on a songwriting retreat at a lakehouse.

How does one "do" a songwriting retreat? Isn't it lonely? [Yes.] Isn't it difficult? [Yes.] What do you expect? [Anything, really, but especially songwriting.]

Before anything else, I had to settle in; I'm actually still settling in. Made a sandwich, mixed up some berry "just add water" drink mix I found in the pantry, and - the best way to settle in - washed my first dish.

When I've dirtied and subsequently cleaned my first dishes, I know I'm ready. See, I've begun making this space somewhat my own, done a little homemaking, taken enough time to prepare and clean up after a meal.

Now, I can write. 


You see, I had to come here. I had to leave the rhythms and noise of the normal. Not escaping; rather, setting aside. Admitting, "The world - my world - will not end without me." But neither will it stop or get quieter anytime soon, so the writer needs some space and some quiet.

Just as we need mundane, ordinary, real-life, it is good to step away from it and see it from a distance. Write it down. Think it over. Turn it around, see what's hidden behind, underneath.

Then, after some time (probably longer than the actual retreat time can give) we are ready to give it back, lay it out, reveal to those ready to listen, ready to take it from us and like it, hate it, misunderstand it, or the many responses that will be given to the end product - the song.

multiple writing instruments and notebooks 


Michelle Forlines said...

I'm looking forward to hearing some of the end results. Is this your first "alone" songwriting retreat?

Matthew Clark said...

Cool! So glad that you are posting some blogs from the retreat. I get the feeling already that it was a good time.