S#!t! I just managed to delete the question I was about to answer
So if this answer sort of matched your question (and flattering remarks) this one’s for you (please let me know who you are):
Thank you ever so much. That’s very kind. I will tell you this: start out solo. Less people, clutter and more focus on the songs (every morning I thank the rock Gods I’m not in a band). Once you pluck up the courage and confidence to perform your songs, alone, in front of people, you can always start involving others in your endeavours. It’s a joy to play with musicians who you vibe with. But first you gotta shake your politeness and vibe with yourself. It’s hard to be brave and rid yourself of the self awareness and innate fear of failure that most people, but if you can find it in your heart to be so bold and share what you’ve got with others you may very well find that there’s someone out there - one or two or 100 000 - who appreciate it. Or better yet, they feel the same way. And maybe you’ll be lucky enough to inspire them to be as brave as yourself.
I'm in a desperate songwriting rut, and it's been really hard for me to find inspiration in anything. I'm sure your songwriting process is hard to describe, but I'd really appreciate any words of wisdom because when I was growing up, you were actually the first singer-songwriter I adored. Keep being great xx Have fun/waste countess hours on tumblr!!
Thanks for your question. I know exactly how you’re feeling. I’m there right now. It’s not writer’s block, it’s just songwriter’s depression. It’s difficult to understand how you will ever write something good again. I feel that way after every album, sometimes every song; I can’t see any way I’ll ever write something quite as fullfilling again. But then you do. If you keep at it. Don’t sit around and wait for inspiration to hit you over the head - go after it and write something - anything - that you refrain from judging too harshly there and then. I do this only to get the wheels in motion - the point being: don’t judge your work while you’re still making it. It will prevent anything from becoming anything. Get the song out of your system even though you have a feeling it’s not fantastic. And then you can judge and mock it all you want. You can blush and be thankful nobody’s ever going to hear it. Scrap most it, but take the one line or part that actually wasn’t so bad and work on that. There usually is at least one. Or maybe with some distance to the process you’ll be pleasantly surprised that what you thought was forced and pointless actually was pretty cool or expressed something not phony. Trust me, that does happen. Not often but it does and that’s why you keep doing it. Moral is: don’t think too far ahead. Be in the moment and don’t be too precious about your attempted songs while they are still being written. There’s plenty of opportunity to stop them from being heard later on in the process. And then you’ll be able to laugh with equal vigour at the bad ones never shared as the great ones that survived your scrutiny. You’re looking for those small inspired moments but the thing I’ve learned is you don’t always know it when they’re happening. So just write, play, express and you’ll know later if it feels inspired enough to pursue further. For inspiration try music outside of your comfort zone, movies that make you uncomfortable, socializing with people from other zip codes, etc. Go do it and thanks for listening. SL