Songwriting and Seasons

I’ve been trying to rediscover my desire to be creative. It’s honestly a little scary. A large part of who I am is creative, mostly in the area of song writing. I’m a musician. I play guitar. I started on piano as a young lad, and have returned to that even more as of late. And I love to sing.

But right now, I don’t even want to look at my guitar. An exception is the cover band I play in. I love making music with those guys, the camaraderie, the hang-time. Gigs where people dance all night long to all the oldies, classics, and current top 40 hits.

I’m reminded that creativity is an interesting thing. It can’t be forced. Or maybe it can, but somehow when it is, it is noticeably less authentic. It is often elusive, and for some reason it is very difficult for people to understand that it comes and goes in seasons that are not easy to fit into time frames. Even folks that create music or things struggle with this fact. ‘I can’t create right now!’ ‘What’s wrong with me?’

So, last year I heard an insight from a worship songwriter who reminded a group of us in a seminar, of a simple yet important truth. That is, you can’t argue with seasons. Stick with me on the analogy as I explain it. Seasons. There are four of them. Winter, spring, summer and fall.

Now, if trees could talk, as this song-writer reminded me, and you walked up to it in winter and said, ‘hello there tree, please would you produce some leaves for me?’ and if the tree could reply it would say, ‘hello friend, you may not realize this, but it is winter and in winter I can’t produce leaves – even if I wanted to, please come back in spring, that is when you can expect leaves, and in summer some fruit, depending on the year’.

If you’re a writer in ‘winter’, no-one including yourself should expect you to be able to produce anything. You NEED to rest. You cannot produce anything unless you rest. Be in winter. Rest assured that one of the most predictable and unavoidable things about seasons is that they happen. The timing is hard to know, but that they happen is guaranteed. Spring will come, summer will come, fall will come. They always do. And winter is needed. It is necessary. It is part of the seasons.

I’m not totally happy about that, but I think I’m finally okay with it. It’s just the way it works. I’m in winter. And I know the spring is coming.