When it comes to songwriting, it's not my policy to wait around until inspiration strikes. Inspiration tends not to show up until I hunker down and work.
Lately, though, I haven't wanted to work on songs unless I'm in just the right mood. Which can mean different things at different times.
Take the last song I wrote. It's full of energy and enthusiasm and rah rah can-do spirit. It is unflaggingly optimistic. And it took forever to write. If I didn't feel all rah rah myself, I didn't believe I could carry it off.
On the other hand, the song I'm writing now is pretty dark and cynical. If I'm even a tiny bit happy, I can't access the emotions I need to work on it. Or, maybe I could if I tried, but I'm generally not that motivated to kill a good mood.
So I wait for darkness and cynicism to hit. The catch is, I usually don't want to do anything creative when I'm down.
It didn't used to be this way. I don't ever remember having to sync with a song's emotions back when I started. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because my early songs mined experiences I'd had years before, and I wasn't as close to them anymore. These days I write about stuff that's relevant to me right now. What's relevant to me right now feels a lot more raw.
I need to get over it. Tonight I was tired and irritated and not inclined to deal with much of anything. All I wanted to do was turn off my brain, hook myself up to my iPod, and listen to somebody else's music. But I didn't. I made myself think about the dark, cynical song. Specifically, I made myself think about the part I was stuck on. The part that made me fear I'd have to scrap the whole thing.
And I did it. I solved the problem.
My mood has miraculously improved.
How about you? Do you have feel a certain way before you jump into something creative? Or do you forge ahead regardless?