Did you see the first part of my interview with Meredith, singer and songwriter of Lamb's Ear? If you didn't, check it out. If you did, I'm sure you are back for more of her wisdom on creativity, songwriting, and life. She's simply spectacular. Here is our interview, continued.
Emily Hawkins: What is your favorite part about writing songs?
Meredith Coons: I love the healing work of it — that writing them can heal something in me, and then, if I do it right, serve others as well. And a song can either be outwardly uplifting or function cathartically to achieve that. Sometimes you need a jam to pick yourself up, and other times you just need to hear that song that perfectly articulates what you're feeling in that moment. I know I've experienced both as a listener, and I try to fulfill both purposes in my writing. I also love that songs serve as little time capsules. They remind me of exactly how I felt when I wrote them. I have always loved that my dad's songs have provided me with this unique insight into my parent's thought process that many children don't have. I have that with my husband, too. It's my very favorite way to connect with people.
EH: What keeps you writing songs when it feels tough?
MC: Writing songs generally feels toughest when life is going smoothly, and when life is tough, it seems that songs have a way of falling into my lap. When I go a while without having written anything, I tend to start worrying a bit that somehow that part of me has died, and I'll never write again, but then I have to remind myself that it's okay to go dormant sometimes — I've done it before, and I know I'll do it again — but I always come back to songwriting.
EH: How has creating impacted you as a person?
MC: It has been a very successful coping mechanism for me throughout my life. I truly believe that songs have entered my brain and really saved me during some very dark times, so I try to pay that forward.
EH: Have you faced any resistance, internally or externally, pursuing this or any other creative endeavors?
MC: Externally, there is the issue of time and other various responsibilities. As for internal resistance, I think many creatives tend to feel like their pursuits are ultimately self-serving and not very practical. I definitely fall into that category. I have felt like I should be doing something that helps people in a more direct way, which is why I pursued a nursing degree a few different times in my life and am now studying speech pathology. Part of it is also the whole job security thing — there are many people out there competing to play music, while speech therapists are in very high demand and actually paid a decent wage. It can also be frustrating to work so hard on your craft and not get the kind of response to it that you were hoping for, which makes the whole process feel very meaningless. I have to remind myself, though, that songs really do have the power to help people. Even my songs, with the limited fan base that I have. Even if it's just a close friend telling me that one of my songs helped her through something, or even if it's just me feeling good for having written a song and passing that good feeling on to the people around me, songs can make a positive, healing impact even on a small scale.
EH: What advice would you give someone who wants to make music or create in general?
MC: My advice is to PLEASE do it! The world needs more of it. Creating things, and enjoying what others have created, is one of the very best things about living.