Sometimes I wish I had become a newspaper delivery boy. Or a milkman. Or a bridge toll-taker … do people still do that for a living?
I love the routine of those jobs.
Or maybe, the clown wielding the wide broom who follows the elephants in the circus.
Or a carpenter … yes, a singing carpenter who dresses the plank in the floor with his singing nails.
Better still, I wish I could say that I’d been a kite maker. I can’t think of a more aesthetic machine than the kite. I can’t think of an aircraft that’s better for the world or the soul. Everyone loves a kite.
Some days I wish I could say I’d been one of those things. Then again … no.
Songwriting isn’t routine. It isn’t easy, or certain. It’s not a dream job, and it doesn’t come with a guarantee. You know when songwriters say things in interviews like, “I just channel the muse … the songs just flow out of me”? No, they don’t. It’s work. Each time you take up your guitar and sit by a blank page, you start from scratch. It’s a struggle. And for most, there’s very little reward in it (outside of the big prize, touching an audience).
It’s not easy … and still:
For me, the worst day as a songwriter is still better than the best day as something else. It’s the work that’s worth doing.
Now, in the studio, second cup of chamomile tea cooling, guitar in its stand, melody waiting patiently for words to be finished.