The Story or Creating an Online Creativity Course – Part 1: “This is Your Song”

I’m creating an online songwriting course and I’ll tell you why.

It’s because I know for a fact that everyone has a creative genius in them, lurking there behind a veil of equal parts fear, confusion and overwhelm. It’s the genius that lives in the secret desire we suppress into submission and call ‘stupid’, fanciful’ or ‘impractical’. And I believe our secret desire is the portal to finding our best self.

Songs were the portal for me. I was never the same after hearing Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” album – his songs helped me get through my self-destructive teen-aged angst.  Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” restored my strength after the emotional ‘Armageddon’ of first love heartbreak. David Bowie’s “Changes” reassured me I wasn’t alone in feeling alienated from the world. I could go on forever in this vein, but the point’s been made.

Songs help us sort through emotionally difficult times.

If you’re like me, songs got you through the hardest times. There was that song that gave you courage. The one that restored your calm. And the one that made sense of the morass.  There are all those songs that, when you hear them now, take you right back to the first moment you heard them. And when you remember back to the songs that resonated with you, I’ll wager you’re not remembering them through an intellectual lens, but an emotional one.

Songs speak directly to our emotions; they express the emotions we have difficulty sorting through. Music is the language of emotions. That is why I believe songs have the potential to heal us. And that is another reason I’m creating an online songwriting course.

My friend Diana, the one I told you about last week, the manager at my local yoga studio haven, is a painter, but she also loves music. She loves music so much that she’s learning to play the piano, she’s learning to sing songs while playing the piano, and she’s even working on writing her own song. Last night I had the honour of witnessing her practice for an upcoming recital. I couldn’t take my eyes off her face, she was glowing, and the singing was coming through a direct connection with her heart.

Her performance took me back to my genuine love affair with music, my ear pressed against a speaker on the record player to get every nuance in a new song that made me fall head over heals.  I’d play the same song over and over and over and never get enough, and only stop when interrupted by the cruel shout of someone not in love like me, “Turn that off!” Which reminded me of the years that same message would repeat in my own head whenever I dreamed about being a singer songwriter, “Turn that record off!”

We stop ourselves from doing what we love.

And that is another reason I’m creating an online songwriting course. To help you overwhelm the critic and write your song just because you want to.

When I entered graduate school with the ambition of acquiring the lofty distinction of Master of Education, the paper that would give me permission to stand as an expert in my chosen field of Creativity, my research taught me that the thing about creativity is you have to be creative. You can’t just think about it, you have to do it. That is why the moment that MEd degree was conferred on my head I left academia behind and began to write songs.

We’re alive, we’re breathing, we have a song.

That’s another reason I’m creating an online songwriting course. I’m excited because I know once a person has a relationship with your muse you can never not have one. And that may sound simple, but it’s not easy, I know that. It’s a challenge to show up for your creativity, to allow an original idea to emerge from your individual humanity. It takes courage, determination, will power and all that, and it’s not for the faint of heart, literally. But the great news is, you can use the skill of creativity, of coming up with great ideas, in every aspect of your life.

Mostly I’m writing novels these days, and mostly I’m interested in letting people know about my books. But I’m still writing songs. Last week I went into a studio to record the vocals for “Saturn”,  a song I began years ago as part of my Linda McLean Band project. It was a dazzling reminder of how much I love to sing, and the song itself, written during a particularly stressful time in my life, reminded me of the fine line between what we dream and what we experience.

Healing our troubled humanity, one song at a time.

I recorded the vocals and harmonies for “Saturn” and then sent all my files from my computer in Halifax to John in Toronto where he’ll mix the song and send it back to me. That in itself is stunning, and it’s another reason I’m excited about the potential of an online course – the limitlessness, the chance to be in direct service to help raise our human potential, everywhere in the world, one song at a time.

I’m calling the course, “This is Your Song.” What do you think? I’m building the course right now, so if any ideas or inspirations spring from you and you’d like to share them, please don’t hesitate. I would love to hear them. We learn best when we learn with others.  If you’ve been feeling the urge to express yourself through a song, I think this online course might be really interesting for you.

Sometimes inspiration comes from a conversation. That’s another thing I leaned last night while I was hanging out with Diana and she shared this quote – “Maybe the conversation we’re having right now is the one we needed.” So, let’s chat. Let me know why you think you want, or perhaps need, to write a song now. Or maybe you want to share where you find your inspiration? Where you’re stuck in your own creative journey? What you think would help get you unstuck?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Truly. To get in touch just reply to this post.

If you’d like to hear my new song first, you can sign up for my list below.

Until then, please be well and best wishes to you.



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