Joy of Cooking

Sometimes I wish there was a book called the Songwriter’s Cookbook, containing recipes (step by step instructions) for writing any kind of song. There could be a chapter on main course songs (nourishing, serious and substantial), a chapter on appetizer type songs (light pop), one for salads, one for desserts, and so on. I would expect to see recipes for hot and spicy Mexican songs, sweet, syrupy love songs, salty sea chanteys and bitter rock and blues. Now that I think about it, songs are a lot like food.

As far as I know, there is no such book. And it’s just as well, because I truly believe the art of songwriting cannot be dissected and distilled down to a simple set of step by step instructions.

Thinking about cookbooks reminds me of a well-respected cookbook called the Joy of Cooking, which has been a staple in kitchens for many years. If there were a book called the Joy of Songwriting, it would contain help and information, but not step by step instructions. It would focus on the pure joys of writing songs and how to keep that spirit alive, even when struggling with the many obstacles that confront us.

The joy of songwriting is what keeps us coming back after being rejected by publisher after publisher. It keeps us writing when audiences don’t respond. It keeps us writing and rewriting even when we’re making no money.

An artist’s passion is above and beyond the money, the audiences and the whole music business. The passion for creating transcends all else. If you have this passion, no record company exec can take it away.

I admire songwriters who operate above the level of money, fame and other external signs of success. For you, money and recognition are only secondary by-products. It does us good to remember not to put the external, superficial before the real thing, the heart of songwriting, which is your passionate creativity.

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One Response to “Joy of Cooking”

  1. Bookmarks about Cooking Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by waynehastings on 2008-08-28 Joy of Cooking https://songwriterstipjar.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/joy-of-cooking/ – bookmarked by 2 members […]

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