Imagine that I weigh 300 lbs. Got it? Okay. Now imagine that I have a sprained ankle. And asthma. And flip flops on my feet. And it’s 113 degrees outside.
Now, put me in the middle of a pack of marathon runners with fabulously long legs and handy water bottle packs strapped around their waists. They’re all stretching and high-5ing each other, shaking out their limbs, ready to kick some serious road race booty. Then the shot sounds, and they’re off… and I am aiming to keep up with them for 26.2 miles.
That’s a little bit how I feel when it comes to songwriting in Nashville.
Nashville is where really good songwriters live. This is where people come to make a career out of writing songs. They are gifted, and skilled, and practiced. They are amazing. They are transcendent. And while I know that songwriting is anything but effortless, they make it look effortless – like someone who is born to run, gracefully bounding like a gazelle. And I’m heavily slogging far behind, huffing and puffing, barely able to put one foot in front of the other – let alone master the bar chords.
Sometimes I wonder why I thought it was a good idea for me to move here – HERE, of all places! – when I really had no idea what I was doing. I am an amateur, a novice – at the shallow end of the talent pool, splashing around because I love the water, but never able to venture beyond the 3 foot depth mark.
True, in theory, I moved here to Nashville to learn. But the learning comes slowly. It takes time, and it takes work. To be honest, I’ve never really had to work for anything in my life. As a child, school came easily. Friends came easily. Music came easily – that is, up until now. If anything did not come naturally, like, oh, ANY PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER, then I simply did not do it. I hate the feeling of doing something poorly, and so I have avoided situations in which I might fail.
Logical Annie says, “It’s not a competition. You do not have to be perfect. You have something unique to offer. You just need to keep working at it. Good ideas will come. Good songs will come. You’re growing and improving, even when you don’t feel like it. This is all an adventure, a grand experiment, and it’s a good thing you’re here.”
Gloomy Annie says, “Maybe I should just move to Nebraska.”