So this year my husband and I wrote the music for a musical. I did the lyrics, he wrote the music, and boom, we had song! And then another song. And then we had a musical. And it was fun. Really, really fun!
When I’m working on a book project, I try to write about 2,000 words a day. If I’m editing something at the same time, I try and do at least 1,000. Songs are so much shorter! I did a word count on one of our songs; it’s only 220 words! Those 220 words are harder to come by. There’s rhyming and rhythm to worry about. You have so few words you really need to make sure every one counts. But 220 later, you’re done. You have something with depth and meaning that fits on a piece of notebook paper.
The lyrics for the first song we wrote for a musical went into my little writing notebook. One was on receipt paper, and one was on a napkin. You really can’t do that with a novel. Sure, you can jot down an idea when inspiration strikes, but to try and create a whole scene on a napkin would be way too stressful!
But a song, a little compact, going-to-be-four-minutes-long song, is perfect napkin size. You can write it on a long, boring car ride, or laying in a hammock in paradise. Sure, there’s editing and rewording once it’s done. But the seed that everything comes from can happen so quickly.
Of course, then my husband is stuck with a keyboard and computer creating sheet music for the songs, which takes a whole lot longer than writing the lyrics, but still, it’s art and storytelling in miniature form with music behind it. I think I might be a little addicted to this songwriting thing.