Yesterday I had the pleasure of writing some again with one of my dearest friends, and one of my musical mentors, Jan Landry. There are a couple of new songs that I have recently written that I am incredibly proud of, but I felt that they could be tweaked some to make them stronger. And Jan is the Queen of that!
For those of you that don’t know, I am actually fairly new to songwriting. I have been singing since the age of 7, and have always loved to write, but for years I had absolutely no clue how to bring the two of them together. I must admit that I was massively intimidated by the concept of creating my own music. Enter Jan, whom I mentioned above, about four years back. We met at a wellness spa that I worked at in Marble Falls, TX (shout out to my Sana Vida peeps!), and she graciously agreed to show me some pointers to get me started on learning guitar. This, too, was terrifyingly intimidating to me, as I had been longingly looking at a guitar in the corner of my bedroom for years that had been given to me during my six year stay in Nashville. It sure was fabulous at collecting dust! She invited me into her home, showed me a few chords, and gave me a wonderful piece of advice, especially helpful when learning to play a new and challenging musical instrument. She said, “Just play what you enjoy! Find songs that you like, and spend time on those. Most songs only have 3-4 chords in them anyways, so don’t be intimidated.”
So I was off! Little by little I have been growing my skills on my guitar…a humbling experience to say the least! But I equate my guitar journey with my journey in
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my yoga practice: It is not a process that can be rushed. Poco a poco baby!
About a year after that first meeting with Jan, she said that she had someone that she wanted me to meet. In the past, I had expressed to her my innate desire to learn how to write and create music. She had been writing with a girl around my age, Jessie Wallace, for a couple of years and thought that I might be a good fit as a third writing partner in the bunch.
Well, I was over the moon that they thought enough of me to give me a shot! The three of us clicked pretty much instantly, and they took me under their wise and experienced wings. Jessie has a natural ear for kick-ass melodies and unique ways of saying things (she’s from Tyler, TX, so that’s a no brainer!). Jan has years of experience in putting songs together, along with helping them to make sense lyrically and musically. I brought an idea for a song to them, which would end up being the very first song we co-wrote together; and the very first song that I had ‘officially’ written that wasn’t doodles of lyrics on lined paper with no melody in mind. The idea that I had was strong, but the words were written in more poem form than song form. Thus began my journey of learning how to turn words into a song that made sense. That first song was ‘Everyday Woman’, and the three of us bonded immensely in the process of writing it. We have never looked back and have now written several songs together. I am super grateful to these (gorgeous btw!) women who patiently helped me to bring forth a craft that I always knew was somewhere inside of me. They taught me how to get at it. To this day, some of my most cherished musical moments are spent with them, in one of our kitchens, over tea or coffee or wine, laughing or crying or simply just BEING with the music and with each other.