Recently I received an email via my website from the lovely Pontus:

“Hi Nate!

I would be happy if you could give me tips and tricks on how you write songs.
A songwriter to a songwriter”

I thought that perhaps there are other people who have the same questions, and so, here is my response:

Dear Pontus

Thanks for writing, I will do my best to offer you some tips on how I write songs…there are no tricks, or if there are, I do not know them:

I have spent all of my life passionately listening to -and learning- the best lyrics I could find and reading many many MANY books on all sorts of topics. I have thought and felt reality oh so deeply since as far back as I can remember.

I began playing guitar at 14, spending hours jamming with friends, playing alone, forgetting to practice, practicing again, learning new chords, covering songs I loved, hurting my fingers, breaking my nails and still playing playing playing playing PLAYING.

I wrote songs from the beginning, and attempted poetry to go with them. Now, 16 years later, I think I’m becoming a passable songwriter.

How did it happen? Time spent, effort expended, imagination expanded, failure repeated, mistakes also repeated, life lived fully, lessons hard learned, love entered into enthusiastically and often disastrously, friendships grown over years, friendships sparked and died within moments, world explored open-heartedly and always words words words, melody melody melody…always the attempt to tell stories of the feelings which I still believe are mostly indescribable. How to bring my most intense experiences and beliefs down into a few syllables, floating on musical notes from my heart through my mouth to the ears of those who choose to hear?

So Pontus, write, keep writing, be true to your heart, go deep, feel everything. These are my tips.

Thank you again for your email, I hope this helps you on your own journey as a songwriter. May your path be as rich and challenging as mine continues to be.

Your troubadour

Do you have any tips and tricks for Pontus or other songwriters you might be able to share with us?

Love and light
Nate 😀

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