The Gift of Songwriting Time: The Long and Short of It

Short and long orange blue pencil set, isolated

Okay, I have two stories about giving yourself the gift of time to work on your songwriting:

The Long of It

I just spent four of the last six hours writing songs and playing my guitar, under fluffy clouds and a clear blue sky, with an expanse of beautiful grass across from me; tall pine trees surrounding me and a white hammock nearby for occasional breaks.

Not bad, huh? I’m spending a week at my favorite songwriting retreat, SummerSongs, and I’ve decided to ditch my usual menu of classes and workshops and mostly spend my time noodling and practicing and creating.

Now, forget about the hammock and the fluffy clouds and the pine trees for a second — I ask you, when was the last time you spent a serious span of uninterrupted time writing your songs? For me, I can hardly remember…maybe never? I typically squeeze in my writing in between work, time with my husband, friends and family, stupid e-mail and social media *%$&# and an epic second viewing of all seasons of The Sopranos. And often writing songs comes in dead last on that priority list.

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The Juilliard-trained cellist who longed to be a songwriter



[Note: Noah is a very talented friend of mine who contributed his amazing cello to my last album…check out his work on this song of mine, Valentine’s Day. He has a brand new album out, Play Human, and he’s offering one tune, Same Old Song, as a free download.  — Sharon]

As a kid, playing cello was my everything, even more important than my other passions, like trading baseball cards. As a teen, I was thoroughly identified with cello and breathed its air through my every cell. I chose early on to make it my life and went on to study at conservatory.

While still a student at Juilliard, I played my first ‘un-classical’ session as a cellist. It was a departure from the school’s curriculum, but it wasn’t any distance from where my ears were at. I’d spent my childhood in a musically diverse home, steeped in strains of Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell and David Bowie, all along with Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.

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