I came up with the idea to do a summer songwriting series on this blog probably a month and a half ago. My intention was to start in June, but since summer doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, I don’t feel too badly.

The idea is to write or finish original songs and blog about them. Pretty simple concept, really. I’ve been more motivated in songwriting since last summer, when I participated in a songwriting retreat led by Dar Williams, and as Martha Bassett has started incorporating a few of my originals into sets (and a forthcoming album!).

Selfishly, this is a way to push myself to spend more time on my music, and if someone else gets something out of it, all the better.

The first song I’m sharing is one I wrote fairly recently and just yesterday threw together in GarageBand. Have a listen:

This is a pretty straightforward lady-power-pop song. I wrote it after seeing a friend’s Facebook post about cutting her hair short, about how someone told her that her long hair had been so much a part of who she was that it was too bad she cut it.

Having done the big chop myself 3 years ago, I knew the feeling. It got me thinking about other ways in which society tries to define women by appearance or attachment to a man.

When I was younger, I thought that a woman going to a restaurant by herself was just about the saddest thing ever. How embarrassing to respond to “How many?” with “Just one.” The idea of going out alone was mortifying to me.

My thinking has changed dramatically in the last few years. I’ve learned that it actually takes a great deal of confidence and self-worth (or aspirations thereto) for anyone, especially a woman, to take themselves out. And I’ve found that I love it.

Every now and then, especially if my fiancé is busy or out of town, or if I have a busy night of meetings coming up, I’ll head to a favorite restaurant solo. Maybe I’ll take a book, or maybe I won’t—but I’ll keep myself company and enjoy a meal or a drink by myself. It was awkward the first few times I did it, but now I love it.

So this is a fun song about women making their own choices and determining themselves instead of being determined by others. Nothing crazy deep, but at least to me, it’s crazy true.

And, lest I be misunderstood, I affirm all women who choose to go out with friends and/or a partner, who wear their hair long and are into makeup and dresses, and who decide tattoos just aren’t for them.