Forcing It

It’s quiet. A subtle presence has returned and everything that seemed unclear before now makes perfect sense. It’s Fall. Trees self destruct, shedding their leaves without worry just like I shed the disappointments of my past. I love this time of year.

I can never quite explain why I love Fall so much but how I feel emotionally during this season has a lot to do with it. Despite the fact that everything outside is dying, I feel new. It’s like a fresh start where what is truly important in my life is made obviously clear. This is all on top of the fact that it’s the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season, the coziest time of year, and the perfect time to buy new clothes.

This season has been interesting thus far. It’s my first Fall out of school and the lack of structured guidance has left me unstable. This is the first time in my life where the next step is not laid out for me and it’s… weird. Sometimes I look back on my time in school and wish I still had the same confidence and sense of direction without all the headaches that come along with getting a degree. Read More

Progress

I was thinking about writing a heavier piece on progress tonight. More specifically, about how progress is so hard to appreciate when you can’t see the process of accomplishing a goal for what it is. I wanted to explore how setbacks and mistakes make us feel when we are so focused on the finish line that we forget what makes us human. Thinking about the topic just made me feel sad and anxious, looking back on all the times I’ve let lack of appreciation for the process sabotage my results and cause me to quit.

I was inspired to write after realizing that minor setbacks look more like mountains when you are closer to the start than the finish. It’s harder to see how setbacks can help you when you’re just starting out. I constantly have to remind myself that those setbacks are part of the process and there to help me learn, not a reason to quit. Part of what makes life so exciting is our ability to learn and make progress, right? Because if I could just wake up tomorrow and fulfill every one of my dreams so easily, what would it be worth? Not much. And would it be truly half as fulfilling? Probably not. Read More

Doubts

Doubt is beyond fear. It’s declaring defeat before there is even any proof of demise. It is giving up before there is a reason to. It’s what settles in after the fearlessness has worn off and the jets of ambition cool down. It’s the voice in your head that says “you aren’t good enough and even though you’re willing to take the risk and face your fears, it won’t be worth it.” Fear can be a great motivator, or so a voice teacher once told me while I crammed for a performance of “I’ll Stand By You” by the Pretenders one week before. Looking back, I was fearful then, not doubtful. I knew I could do it but I was scared of being underprepared so I practiced a little extra. It’s doubt, not fear, that stops you. This was one of my first and last solo performances of that nature.

Doubt is what kept me in the clutches of security, following a cleanly trimmed path of plain old Americana practicality. I went to college, got a degree, and graduated like you’re supposed. And don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy I did. I loved college and I’m pleased with the career path I’m currently on. College was the experience I needed to understand more about myself and the world around me. But doubt made sure there was always something missing: the college experience I wanted in NYC, gigs in bars and coffee shops, music classes I wanted to take, and dreams I stowed away doubting they could ever come true, among many other omissions. Read More

Pink “What A Melon” Beginnings

Hey there!

My name is Shawna and I am a singer/songwriter from Pennsylvania, finally taking that leap of faith into the music industry. Welcome to my website. It’s so good to have you here!

To give you some background about me: I started writing songs shortly after the Jonas Brothers covered “Year 3000″… so I had to be about 12. I had this pink Blow Pop “What A Melon” notebook that I “hacked” into a songwriting journal by flipping the cover around and fishing it back through the spirals. I wrote “Shawna’s Songs” down the front in capital letters and autographed it in red pen a few times. I still have it; it’s a relic.

My “What A Melon” notebook was the beginning of my love for writing. As elementary (and embarrassing) as those lyrics may be looking back, they taught me the value of expression. They captured the sheer joy of experiencing inspiration that I have learned to long for well into my adult years. That “What A Melon” notebook, although overlooked and misunderstood at the time, set the foundation for a passion I cannot escape although life has tried to rip it out of me. Read More