A Different Side of the Brain

erica bryan, beaverdamusa.com, behind the micPeople have asked me if I can write songs while touring. I didn’t really understand why they asked me that because I assumed you could just write all the time and then perform and I didn’t see how there would be any disconnect. However, as I’ve gotten more busy with my tour schedule this year, I’ve realized that there really is a disconnect.

In 2013, all I did was write songs. I would co-write with people on weeknights and weekends, I would write lyrics during the day at my day job, and felt like I was a writing machine! (Not every song was a good song…but it was still a song!) I only played 2 shows that year, so almost all my energy was dedicated to writing. After my big writing stint, I had plenty of new material to start playing shows with in 2014. 

So this past year, I dedicated all my time to performing. I thought I could still keep writing during weeknights, but came to realize that after being my own tour manager, booking agent, publicist, and band leader, I had no creative energy to devote to songwriting. It was really sad! I would try to sit down and write a song…and nothing came out! Words were inexplicably harder to form. I’m no brain expert, but I started realizing that maybe there is a different part of your brain you use when writing songs. It wasn’t that I ran out of stuff to say (which is a relief!), I just hadn’t used the other side of the brain as much. 

Now that my touring has wrapped up for the year, I’ve been coaxing myself back into writing gear. I spent this past weekend house sitting for someone, and literally did nothing but sit at the piano and write songs all day long. For three days I pounded out new lyrics and melodies, came up with new ideas, and completed 4 new songs. One morning, I couldn’t sleep and got up at 3:30 am. Instead of lying in bed, praying to fall back asleep, I decided it was time to get up and write more music! That song ended up being called “Coffee at Midnight,” for obvious reasons [because I couldn't sleep!]. 

As an artist, it’s easy to feel like you’re not “doing anything” if you’re not on the road playing, but I’ve had to give myself a break and realize that if I don’t have good songs to play, the touring is irrelevant. So although on paper this time looks “quiet” and less flashy, it’s turning out to be very productive. I’m excited to keep writing and creating, and look forward to the time when I can share my new music with you all! 

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