The Thief Who Stole My Creative Confidence

I Heart Songwriting Club is a global community of passionate songwriters who love to help and inspire people to become great songwriters!
Mishell Jones, Brisbane, AUS

September 2018

F – A – B flat. These three little chords were destined to become the building blocks of my creative confidence and first-ever real song. Written by me, for me, and about me.

But I didn’t know that yet when I was just starting to do a little bit of singing here and there in no-audition-necessary community choirs and at home, with the new keyboard, I bought on Gumtree and drove across the city to pick up on a quiet Sunday morning.

Music had been my significant source of joy for much of my youth. As an adult, however, I’d stopped thinking it was something I was permitted to do. The arts seemed to be seen by so many as whimsical self-indulgence. A surefire way to ensure you can never afford health insurance, and a pursuit that only the most talented are worthy to pursue.

I’m not the most talented. I’m not even the most hardworking! But oh, the deepest parts of me have longed to make music since the moment I learnt to pound out “Heart and Soul” on the church piano when I was eight years old.

I don’t know who convinced me that I wasn’t good enough, talented enough or motivated enough to make music as an adult.

It felt silly. This thing that I wasn’t even particularly good and you only had a chance of succeeding at if you were really good (which I’d already established I wasn’t). If anyone heard it, it would probably be super embarrassing for me. But something happened last year. The thief that stole my creative confidence just kind of rocked up at my door and dropped it back off to me. I still knew I was a bit shit and I still felt like maybe people would laugh at me. However, I wasn’t willing to waste my energy there when I could utilise my energy creating something! So when opportunity knocked, I flung that door open and invited music back in.

I saw a post Francesca had made on Facebook about the I Heart Songwriting Club Choir needing more members for the gig with Mama Kin Spender. I knew I would love to do it, but was ultimately sure it wasn’t really going to happen. The post was asking for men (which I clearly am not). Plus, let’s not forget – I’m actually not particularly good! It didn’t even really feel like I was taking a risk because I was obviously the wrong person for the job. However, by some miracle I got this spectacular email saying Mishell, YOU’RE IN THE CHOIR.

The joy and creative confidence was back.

Most of the choir members are in the club. The discussions about themes and guidelines and shared frustrations and small celebrations really inspired me. What a creative bunch of humans they all were! What good musicians they must be with creative confidence! Songwriting to me is like next level when it comes to that musical elitism that I’d maybe experienced/maybe invented. So, I totally balked at the suggestion that I could join.

I’m not good, remember? I mean I’m not that good at singing or piano but far more than all that. I had never written a song and I was so scared. Scared that I had nothing of value to say, that I’d be pitied or laughed at, or wouldn’t be able to do it. And yet, none of it outweighed the desire to create something that would bring me that joy I’d been missing for so many years.

F – A – B flat.

I wrote my first song, called “Empty”, in the club a few months ago. The theme was Litmus Test. The support and feedback I received from my group made me feel like I actually did have something of value to say. I felt like they really got what I was trying to do with the lyrics and melody, and I had unlocked something in me that had been missing my entire life. Above all, I was so proud of this song!

I mean I totally acknowledge that it definitely might have been a bit shit but somehow I didn’t care! It meant something to me and it meant something to the people who heard it. So I wrote nine more. The feedback was always encouraging and thought-provoking. I had new ideas every week and the stories and songs of the other songwriters in my group inspired me to keep going. So, I signed up for another term.

I can’t see any version of my future where I don’t write songs.

The club has me hooked on songwriting! There’s a desire in me to express and share stories through music and I hope at some point I’ll be able to share with people outside of the club! I don’t see the time constraint as a ‘limit’ as such. The one-hour timeframe allows me the freedom to just write something. The weekly tasks help me to keep the momentum and just write something. I really want to keep on writing something every week. Even if it’s not good. Even if it’s just three chords. F – A – B flat.

Listen to the result of Mishell’s creative confidence boost here.

By |2022-04-13T08:36:05+10:00September 14th, 2018|0 Comments

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