How often has someone asked you to do something, and you immediately thought, “I can’t do that!”
Or have you watched someone do something you admire but cannot even imagine yourself doing it?
Well, I recently did that to myself. My friend, Justin, asked me to write song lyrics so he could write music to it. Justin is a classically trained Oboist and English Horn player who plays for the Ballet West Symphony as well as an all-around music fanatic. So yeah, he’s a bit intimidating when it comes to music even though he’d never mean to be intimidating. He’s just damn good at what he does.
My immediate thought was, “No, I can’t do that!” Yes, I write poetry, but it tends to be prose poetry without rhyme or rhythm. And as much as I love music and listen to it constantly, I’m not very musical. I can’t sing. Yes, I know I do karaoke all the time, but I can’t keep a tune for the life of me. I just know how to commit to the performance. I don’t play any instruments. I can’t read music. And when I dance, I dance to my own beat. So, yeah, my reaction was no I can’t write song lyrics. But the damn question stuck with me.
Since Justin asked me to write lyrics, I’ve been listening closer to my favorite songs trying to see why I love the lyrics so much. To hear how they are crafted. I’ve noticed myself listening to the rhythm of the words more. I thought about what I might write about and tried to immediately deem what I typically write about not good song material. But then I listened to songs about love, about family, about friendship, about nature, about life, and thought, “Well, maybe?” I mean there are songs with great lyrics and there are songs with super cheesy lyrics.
What would it hurt if I tried to write song lyrics? What if my lack of musical talent or skill had no bearing on my ability to write lyrics? What if my love of words is enough?
I know trying new things is hard, but I also know it is good for me and my soul. I know that the hater voice in my head will try to put expectations on how I write, even though I’m only a beginner. I know this is outside my comfort zone and skill set. But should I let that stop me? I mean, Justin did see something in my poetry that led him to ask me to write lyrics. Maybe, I’m missing something about myself that I’m blind to see.
So, I’m going to ignore that voice that says, “I can’t write song lyrics.” It’s time for me to write and see what I can do and what I can grow into. It’s time to question myself when I think, “No, I can’t do that.” Because what if I actually can, and it’s just me and the damn thought that I can’t that is stopping me. It’s time to gather up my courage and try something new knowing I’m a little afraid that I will fail, but it’s also okay if I do. That’s me being totally human. It’s better to try and fail then to never try at all.