A Challenge Worth Taking
Several years ago, I was invited to participate in an challenge: “write, record, and post a song every day for the month of February.” Up to that point, songwriting had been a precious, careful thing. I often took weeks and sometimes years to finish a track. Doing that in a day, and then doing it again and again for an entire month was a daunting prospect, but also an appealing one. What would I write about? Could I put the perfectionist aside? Could I silence the inner demon-critic?
I’ve now answered those questions over 100 times, though I’ve been told that the journey only really gets started once I hit the 200 mark. The links below will take you to my Song-A-Day output since 2016. These are the raw tracks, exactly as they were posted on the noted days, warts and all. Some of them have gone on to have additional life on my album releases, film scores, and video game soundtracks. Others have become personal favorites that remain in heavy rotation on my private playlists.
Beginning with 2019, I’ve written a blog entry for each track, and have been adding entries every now and then for past songs as well. Check out the page for each year to learn more about what was going on in my head and in my life, as well as production notes and background.
Song-A-Day has become one of the high points of the year. It’s maddening, grueling, inspiring, and amazing. It’s self-inflicted torture and therapy. Above all, it’s taught or cemented several important lessons:
- Deadlines and limitations make a difference.
- Writing regularly makes writing easier.
- Not every song will be good.
- You might write your best song ever today!
- Finishing a bad song is better than never finishing a good song.
- You can achieve far more than you think.
One of the most amazing things about this project is hearing what each person creates. On average, there’s a full album worth of music posted every day! You can stream the current selections at the Song-A-Day website, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.