If you've asked me how my music and songwriting is going, anytime over the last 12 months, you'll know my answer - not particularly well. In fact, save for a few beautiful co-writers, I've been pretty much stuck.
This is a somewhat scary place for a writer. Part of me has definitely wanted to walk away completely. There are plenty more enjoyable ways to spend my free time than trying to do something that just produces crap you throw away very quickly after writing it down.
But I've been thinking a bit about whether or not I really want to throw in the whole endeavour, and that's been an interesting process. Because despite hating the whole idea of my writing for quite some time, I couldn't just walk away.
And recently, the perfect musical metaphor arrived. I'm not ending. Just transposing.
With a huge nod to everything I've learned from Martha Beck and her caterpillar metaphor for the change cycle, I've been noticing signs that my inner writer hasn't, in fact, knocked off permanently, to join the boys in the bar for a mid afternoon pint, but has actually been dissolving into a chrysalis, as Martha Beck explains, in preparation for the emergence of something even more myself, more true to my nature.
So here are my five top signs that I'm transposing, not just stagnating in a tepid pool of coagulating mediocrity
1. The creativity hasn't died off. It's re-visioning. It isn't going away, it just doesn't want to do the same things. In fact, when I look back over the PILES of songs scraps, in folders and notebooks, scrawled over the past 7 years since the release of Leaving Ur, I feel my stomach churn. I neither want to see those scraps again, nor even keep them in my home. I don't want to sing those songs again. I don't want to hear them. But I keep thinking about songs. I keep thinking about writing. I keep thinking about performing. And yet, it all seems to need to be so different now, it's hard to picture it. The urge to create lives on, it just doesn't know how.
2. I have an untempered energy for many new projects, things I have never had an interest in before, things that have nothing to do with music...unless they do. I'm undertaking online business studies, book proposal writing studies, courses on clearing your false beliefs about money and your capacity for success, I'm building new business ideas, some associated with music, some not at all. But the key is, new skills and interests are emerging, things that have laid dormant until now. This is the stuff of transformation, not stagnation.
3. I'm not just focusing my growth elsewhere, I'm going deeper in. Probably my favourite of the change cycle realities....I'm peeling back another layer in my emotional connection to myself, audience and music. It's a growth in connection that takes the respect for the relationship between writer and audience to a more soulful level. I'm loving thinking through what I really want from music? What do I really want to give to it? What do I need from live performances and what do I want to bring to them? What do I want my audiences to feel, when they hear my music or experience my live performance? Great questions that every performer should ask.
4. New partnerships are materialising. This is the coolest part, because it really helps you see you're on the right track. I've got co-writing interest from a whole new range of writers, who write in new genre's for me. And they're people who have the skills and capacity to write the kinds of things I have been thinking about and wanting to write. For the more Woo Woo inclined among us, we might say this is manifesting. I still have no idea how to write in these genres, and still have a distinct dislike for most of the things coming from my pen, but I believe the future of my sound is taking shape in this world, being called in from a higher place. It's exciting.
5. I'm listening in whole new ways. I make no secret that Patty Griffin is my favourite artist. Her capacity to capture the incredible beauty of human existence amid the long dull ache of a sad life story just blows me away. It always has. I've always envied her talent for many years. But I'm hearing differently now, I'm listening for the writer's clues, the patterns and tools she employs to tell these gorgeous tales. I want to learn how she does it. I want to learn how to do what she does. I want to see the beauty in people that she does, and I want to bring that beauty to life for the world like she does. I'm seeking out ways to do what I do differently. Change it. Grow it. Move it to a new place. And that is transposition.
These thoughts are what I have learned from my experience of 2014, so far. I am really excited to see what the rest of the year produces. I'm hoping you're excited too.
Let me know if you've resonated with any of these - tell me your stories of transposition in the comments section, below. I'd love to hear what you think. Share this blog link with friends who might recognise their own transposition.