I still remember where I was when I shoved that piece of paper into my backpack.
I was 15 years old and hadn’t yet written any songs. I mainly played stuff by Coldplay, Jack Johnson, and The Beatles, not my own originals.
But at my family’s annual vacation on the lake, I started my first song. I sat on a bed in the finished basement of our vacation house, holding a notepad, a pencil, and a timid song concept.
I wasn’t trying to impress any girls and I wasn’t even thinking I would record the song.
I was just writing. No reason. Just because I thought it would be fun.
But, to my horror, I heard footsteps. Right in the middle of my first songwriting session.
Without thinking, my hands shoved the paper and pencil into my nearby backpack. The sound of the footsteps got closer.
I pretended to be looking inside my backpack for something as my cousin walked by and said hey.
Whew. She didn’t suspect a thing…
...This is a ridiculous story, right? Why was I keeping my first song a secret from my own family?
I don't know, but what I've learned is that sometimes you have to get a little uncomfortable so you can eventually get comfortable. Sometimes you gotta step out of your ego so it doesn't control you.
All that to say, I'm super glad I didn't stop writing.
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A version of this story first appeared on my blog for fellow musicians, Musician With A Day Job.