8 weeks ago I challenged myself to write one song a week for one year! Seems daunting right? Well I have fully taken this on and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by! It has been such an amazing process so far, and i wanted to share a peak at the songs I’ve written by doing the work everyday! (well almost everyday).
Week 1: You Hold The Mirror
Week 2: Daddy’s Little Girl
Week 3: Concrete Heart
Week 4: Play It By Ear
Completed by candlelight amongst the chatter and clinking of pints at one of my fav pubs in Toronto.
Week 5: The Good Word
I was also inspired to invite my fellow songwriter pals on board to explore co-writing, which has multiplied the learning potential! In the coming weeks I will share behind the scenes on how these songs unfolded for us!
Week 6: Soon As I Figure Out How (co-write with Dayna Shereck)
Week 7: Pretty Good Hurts Pretty Bad (co-write with Brian Edwards)
Week 8: This week I’m working on a co-write with Candice Sand  called Settle For Love

daynaAt the beginning of October I embarked on a Songwriting Challenge for myself to write one new song a week for a year. Yes, one whole year!
A few weeks later I attended a daylong seminar put on by the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) called Songposium, which inspired me to include more co-writes as a contribution to my songwriting process and the yearlong challenge I have before me.
First up, meet Dayna Shereck! Dayna & I met through a common network of music industry pals and were both in attendance at Songposium that day. With my songwriting challenge in mind I approached Dayna with the idea to co-write as an opportunity for us to sit down and get to know each other, while figuring out how our experiences would come together to create something new. Thankfully, she was on board!
After deciding that we would write a song with myself as the intended artist, we got to work on some song titles that Dayna already had kicking around, and a melody that she had written while making breakfast with a lyric about bacon and eggs! —Hey, as a songwriter you soon learn to riff off what ever it takes to capture and retain a melody idea. Sometimes they come when you least expect it, and I think Dayna and I are both grateful for our iphone apps to make a record of these fleeting moments.
So we begun writing some notes around one title, but then quickly shifted to the next when she shared a song idea that struck me pretty hard.
“I’m going to leave you as soon as I figure out how”. Wow! It felt like a powerful experience  that I for one could relate to, and I was sure many others could as well. And so we dove in this direction, which soon evolved into the song title “Soon As I Figure Out How”.  (Check out the demo at the end of this post!) The spark was a story around the many ways in which we fantasize about leaving a relationship that is not working. Our considerations ranged from the comical to the tragic, and we realized that is was important to figure out which emotional territory this song needed to sit in. Where we landed was a story that plays out the desired actions one would take to leave a relationship, the cause of the breakdown, and the courage to do something about it.
With co-writing, I find that there is a certain level of trust and commitment needed between writers to “go beneath the surface” of an idea to get to the true emotion of a song. As this commitment may involve peeling back the layers of our own personal stories from time to time, it can be hard to do. This deep dive is one that I try to bring to my own songwriting process, and I was very pleased that Dayna and I had the courage to go there and trust in the process as two individuals coming together to create something more.
We did it! Less than one week from our initial co-writing session, Dayna and I had a complete song we were very proud of, that I was able to perform live at the weekly Open Mic that I host in Uxbridge. Many thanks to Dayna Shereck for sharing her creative spirit with me! You can find out more about Dayna and her songwriting journey as she heads to Nashville here on her blog at Songs By Dayna.
And as promised here is an acoustic demo of our song “Soon As I Figure Out How” for your listening pleasure!

At the beginning of October I embarked on a Songwriting Challenge for myself to write one new song a week for one year. Yes, one whole year!

A few weeks later I attended a daylong seminar put on by the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) called Songposium, which was focused on many aspects of the songwriting process including the anatomy of a song (by Rob Wells), publishing & licensing (by Jeff Dalziel), and licensing for film & television (by Amy Fritz). It was a full day, with the perfect of amount of insight that inspired me to include more co-writes as a contribution to my songwriting process and the yearlong challenge I have before me.
Check out my first post about my co-write with Dayna Shereck and stay tuned on the blog for more on how my Songwriting Challenge is going!

The Artist’s Way – Morning pages (excerpt) – Week 7
I woke up today thinking about how we are so many things, all at once, to so many people. No wonder its hard to think about who we are to ourselves. We choose to spend all of our time pleasing other people. We think about being a good daughter, a good friend, a good lover, a good employee, a good listener, a good example, a good mentor, good company, a good sister, a good leader, a good team player. When do we choose to focus on being good ourselves?
The positive side of being there for others and giving back, means our lives are full. But are we fulfilled?
“We all have the capacity to love and be loved in so many ways.”
It’s important to embrace our capacity for love, but if we don’t love ourselves first, and take care of our own dreams, no one will do it for us.

While the sun fuels me with boundless energy and delight, there is something to be said about the rain. Perhaps the rain doesn’t get enough credit. So while i washed up the dishes, and boiled the kettle for my second cup of tea, i thought about the rain falling outside, and these are the thoughts that filled me with gratitude.
sleeping in guilt free
hot tea to soothe my soul
the patter of rain on my windows
time slowing down
sweet solitude
writing my next song
reading that book i’ve been too busy to pick up (or not)
doing absolutely nothing
listening to music
playing my guitar
the promise of tomorrow
It’s a lazy grey day out there today which begs the question. How does the rain make you feel?

There are many things that occupy my thoughts on any given day, and many things that I am inspired by. This is the space I will use to share them. Why? Because sometimes we need to be reminded about the things we love, and sometimes it is good to share them with the people we love. And so I will share them here, with you.
Being true to myself is my journey. There are many twist, turns and bumps along the way, which I will also share, because that is how we grow, and that is what it’s all about, isn’t it?
I also encourage you to engage with me here, because people inspire me most. So share your experience and what resonates in your life.
In the meantime, ‘Be’ well!

Well the past few weeks have been absolutely incredible! Starting with an awesome photoshoot with entertainment photographer Brian Patterson in the heart of the Distillery District in downtown Toronto. Check out his stuff here and you will find a few more out-takes from the shoot.
Next putting the finishing touches on my album art for the debut release of my single “Gypsy Heart” (now available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and www.taniajoy.com of course!)
I also had the pleasure of working with engineer and bass man Ricky Joudrey on this track, which features Wendell Ferguson, Jaron Freeman-Fox and Richard Greenspoon to take it to the next level. I learned a ton from the experience and  hope you enjoy the results as much as I do!
The journey continues in studio as I prepare to release a 6 song EP early next year, so please stay in touch.
Thanks for hanging out with me for a while!