Week #12: Chase that dream

I’ve felt a bit discouraged lately. My plan was to rerecord a song I wrote a few years ago to try to get a better version of it to share this week but I got stuck in the process.

I won’t bore you with the details, but nothing I did seemed to work. Guitar track, drum track, vocals, nothing was fitting together. I watched some music theory videos and tried to switch from guitar to keyboards. Why did I stop piano lessons in fifth grade? Why did I stop guitar lessons after high school? Is it ridiculous to think I can write and produce my own songs when I have SO much to learn, from playing an instrument well and understanding music theory to mastering music production? All I want to do is get out the songs I’m writing in my head to a format where I can share them with other people. It’s so frustrating because I started the journey decades ago and stopped so many times along the way. Why spend so much time trying to figure it out? Is it worth the time I’ve spent putting into it?

Then I got tired of feeling so discouraged. I realized that although I can’t at this point get my songs to be where I want them to be, I still really enjoy writing them. So I’m going to just move forward on my own songwriting journey, even if nobody is listening to my songs besides my husband (who is super supportive) and my kids (who hear them because they live here). If others hear them and enjoy them, that would be awesome. But just like amazing moments exist in the world that aren’t posted on Instagram, songs can exist without millions of Spotify streams.

After watching some of the Grammy performances, I found that there were several award-winning songs that were totally not my style. One person’s favorite song is somebody’s else impetus to change the channel. All you can do is be true to yourself and create what moves you and if you connect with people along the way, that’s amazing.

That being said, I’ll share a song I wrote a few weeks ago. It’s still in a pretty rough form and it’s just guitar and vocals recorded with my phone (Old-school, pre-DAW style, I suppose), but it fits this week’s feeling. It’s called “Chase That Dream.”

The first verse is about not wanting to give up on a longtime dream.

Don’t write me off yet
I know I seem like a losing bet
I had a dream I can’t forget
It’s haunting me

I had a late start in following my heart
But it’s not too late, I won’t wait

The second verse is a reflection about feeling too old to try to fulfill a dream, but realizing I need to move past that.

I got distracted
Life happened and I reacted
Guess I took time for granted
It slipped away

Did I miss my chance while I was busy making plans
I don’t want regret, I’ll press reset

Here’s the first and second chorus:

I gotta chase that dream ‘cuz you never know
I’m gonna plant some seeds to see what grows
No turning back, though the odds are stacked
I gotta chase that dream

In the bridge, I turned the song to speaking to the listener (which apparently isn’t the right way to do it because I introduced a new “you” character too far along in the song, which is confusing to the listener, I learned when I brought the song to the songwriting workshop for a critique.)

Do you feel that way, too?
What do you want to do?

And the final chorus:

You gotta chase that dream ‘cuz you never know
You gotta plant some seeds to see what grows
No turning back, though the odds are stacked
You gotta chase that dream.

So even though I broke a cardinal songwriting rule and messed up the “who’s speaking to who” rule, if you’re reading this and needed that reminder, then it’s all worth it.


1 Comment

  1. I like the lyrics and I don’t see why the POV shift makes that much difference. The song goes from the personal into the universal inspirational mode. That’s all. A songwriter’s gotta do what a songrwiter’s gotta do and breaking the “rules” is part of it sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

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