In early 2018, alumna Eva Cassel answered the call of the muse and left a steady restaurant job in Nashville in order to take her songwriting skills and habits to new heights. What follows below is part three of a series chronicling her experience. (Read parts one and two)
By Eva Cassel B.M. ’17
In a perfect world I would report a successful week of writing a song a day, inspired and uplifted. But if the world were perfect, I’d have nothing to write about. I’m going to be real with y’all, I did not write a song a day. I could make excuses, but life will always get in the way if I let it. Wallowing in guilt is just an easy way out; I constantly have to stop myself from diving head first into that whirlpool. Having the energy to forgive myself has been an essential part of getting my butt to the chair and writing. One verse, chorus, or idea is better than nothing. It was hard not to feel defeated, but feeling defeated isn’t the point—writing is.
I meet musicians in Nashville all the time, whether it’s the bartender or the person in front of me in line at the DMV. Some bitter with three-quarters of their heart already gone, some starry-eyed newbies, and some glowing with success. Quitting my job gave me a lot of momentum, now it’s about going the distance. Perseverance is key, especially with the building pressure for income. I have to find a sustainable balance.
My metaphors have greatly improved through my continued daily objecting writing challenges in Pat Pattison’s Songwriting Without Boundaries. I have been hosting weekly object writing parties at my house, and lately they have blossomed. Slowly but surely it’s becoming less of a chore. At the risk of sounding boastful, I can confidently say we are getting really good. I have left several sessions feeling amazing after a sludgy day and others in the group have expressed the same feeling.
I have written several songs, pieces of songs, concepts, and reconnected with my goals as an artist and a writer. And I have something to show for it! I recorded a live video for my song, “Don’t Run,” with my amazing trio—Steve Haan, bass, and Danny Johns, drums—and my lovely friend Adam Dobkin (videographer).
Help me out by liking the video on Facebook or get right to it below:
Eva Cassel B.M. ’17 is a San Francisco Bay-area native bringing coastal vibes down south to Nashville, Tennessee. With a resilient punk San Francisco edge, her diverse musical style combines the indie attitude of Elliot Smith and the pristine vocal melodicism of Joni Mitchell. A self-proclaimed word nerd, Cassel’s music focuses on lyrics and the human experience. Listen to her album Everything on Spotify and follow her on Facebook.
- Notes from the Room, Part 1: When Writing Room Walls Talk - November 23, 2020
- The College Vote: A Waking Giant - October 26, 2020
- ‘What You’re Supposed to Do’: Finding Success on a Nontraditional Career Path - October 19, 2020