After recording The Last Secret, I had a long bout of writer’s block. I would sit down to writing sessions that ended in frustration with me staring at blank pages. An occasional song would come together, but my mind was so full of life details that I couldn’t clear the space to create. Worrying I had used up that part of me, I tried to play a lot of gigs, finish grad school, and look for the next step in life. I read everything I could how other songwriters managed the process. Nick Jaina’s essay ran on repeat in my head. I put a lot of miles on my Jetta in pursuit of something.
In the middle of 2016, I packed up my Maine home and moved down the coast to start a new adventure in New Hampshire. I promised myself six solid months of space to walk in the woods, to reconnect with my guitar and banjo, and to let my mind wander… and finally the words started coming to me again. Singing loudly in a quiet park among the horse farms that filled my new community, it felt like I had come home to myself.
On a trip to Nashville to break the winter monotony, I began to feel like there might be enough inspiration to pull together a new album if I could find the time to focus my writing. So in a tiny cabin on the outskirts of the city far away from Broadway, I penned the first song of the new year which led me to rashly decide that I could write a new song every week in 2017. (It actually still feels a little insane to write that down and I am currently at week 14 and working on song #14.) With a steady rhythm of writing under my belt, accessing whatever part lives inside of me that brings out words and melodies is somehow easier to find. We’re becoming better friends these days.
When I was a little girl, I used to stand in the back of our old Jeep truck and give concerts to the cornfield behind my house. I thought I could be equal parts Dolly Parton and Cyndi Lauper, running through songs I had learned at vacation bible school. It’s good to have dreams and follow them. So friends, if you are interested I’m going to keep writing here and documenting the process on Instagram (#songaweek)until the year ends… and then real fun begins! xo