Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Last year, I decided to give my songwriting a kick start. Write one worship song every month, all year long. Now that 2010 is over, I thought it might be beneficial to look back and identify particular lessons and benefits of the process.

I can honestly say that there's been no downside to this project. Even on months where I've been scrambling to finish a song at midnight on the last day of the month, it's still been nothing but good for me as a Christ-follower, a worship leader and a songwriter.

The year has yielded so many benefits that I'd be a fool to end the process, so I'm looking forward to getting to work on my January 2011 song as soon as possible. Here are some of the take-aways of 2010.

Naturally, I like all of these songs. Heck, I wrote 'em, recorded 'em, edited 'em and shared 'em with the public. You don't do that if you're not willing to own the piece, but certainly some songs are more winsome than others. From a performance/creation aspect, I like them all, but as a worship leader, I feel pretty happy that the year yielded three very strong songs. Naturally, "Maker of My Days" was important for our church body and I still think it's one of the strongest things I've ever written. I still have tremendous hope for the song's success. Secondly, "Never Stop Singing" ended up being one of the most fun things I've written and so far has garnered lots of smiles and melodies from folks. Looking forward to sharing that one soon! The third song has had the least amount of exposure, but so far, it seems to be connecting. "The Reversal" has played well the two or three times it's played, so I'm hopeful it would be something beneficial to the church at large.

Before you think me too arrogant, let me explain my subtitle above. 12 months have taught me this one line - something I've had to tell myself four or five times this year when I simply had nothing to give. I can write a song. Maybe not a great song, but I can write a song. This year has been more about making time to create than churning out product and I think I go into this new year with more confidence and excitement to see what happens in those moments where I don't have the song. Because a song almost always comes.

The strongest enemy of songwriting isn't lack-of-skill or predictability or the absence of uniqueness. It's fear. Fear's the thing that will keep you from writing an extra ten minutes before bed or to make that push to finally finish the bridge. Fear's the thing that will tell you that you already played that chord too much in the last song. And fear's the thing that will beat you because if you never stand up to it, you'll lack skill and you'll be predictable and you won't be unique. Fear's the enemy. Plain and simple.

Not everybody writes songs.

But everybody does something.

And if you could fast forward to January 2012, what you like to be saying about the year? What's that one thing you want (or need) to do?