Thursday, April 7, 2011

Only 12 Notes

Sometimes when I am trying to prepare a message for Sunday or write something for my blog, writers block sets in.  I have times in which the well is so empty that I am convinced that I have absolutely nothing to say that anybody needs to hear. Another thought that I often have in times like that is the realization that anything I could possibly say has already been said before. What’s worse, somebody else has already said it better than me. That can kill creativity.

Then I somehow bounce back and think, “So what if it has been said before? That’s just proof that it’s worth saying again!”

Think of it this way: technically, there are only 12 notes in the musical scale. That’s it. Every song you’ll ever hear is some combination of those 12 notes. When songwriters sit down to compose, they’re not out to create new notes.  Their goal is to put those same 12 notes – that have already been played millions and millions of times before – together in a way that will move people in a new way.  In fact, some people would even say that the best songs are the simplest ones; those that use the most familiar chord progressions.

So the next time you sit down to create and you start to suffocate because you have nothing new to say, put it in perspective. Your job is not to create new notes, or conceive of new concepts. Just put the stuff that’s already out there together in a way that moves you.

Chances are it’s going to move someone else too.

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