Ryan Adams told me I wasn’t a songwriter.
Sep 8, 2008
Ryan Adams (one of my favorite songwriters) told me I wasn’t a songwriter. Okay not directly to me, and really, he conveyed that to me through a lifehacker.com article by Brad Issac who saw Adams on tv. Adams said in response to a question, (Issac’s paraphrase) “What I do and what all musicians do is easy. All we have to do is sit down for a couple hours a week and write a song or two. That simple task is all the world asks of me, so I do it. The other musicians who don’t are just lazy, because again, we aren’t being asked to tar rooftops or clean out dumpsters. We just have to write a couple songs!” Ryan Adams is right.
In December of 2006 I released a full length album. I haven’t written a song since that album was in production. I also claim to be a hobbyist photographer and I’m lucky if I take one picture a week. If I am defined by what I do, then I am a web developer and a family man and I’m proud of it. The problem is I tell people that I’m a musician who records, writes songs, and plays out and I don’t… or at least I haven’t. Brad Issac summed it up in the aforementioned article by saying, “…if you don’t take the simple action, then you cease to be. A song writer who doesn’t write songs ceases to be a song writer. An author who doesn’t write ceases to be an author. A non-smoker who doesn’t keep cigarettes out of his mouth ceases to be a non-smoker.”
I don’t want to cease to be what I claim to be. So I am doing something about it. I plan to take and upload at least a picture a day, write at least a song a week, record at least a song a month, and play out in public at least once every other month. Then I can say proudly I am as I describe myself… “web developer by day… musician by night… mild mannered photographer somewhere in between.”