*(Although I still hate that Lifetime got Project Runway, if only because gay men only watch Bravo and thus have no idea that the show even exists anymore, which means nobody will talk to me about it. How dumb!)
So I guess what we learned is that songwriting is A) A thing, B) Really hard, C) Connected, like all art, to a failing monster that manipulates the economy, and D) Is an art in the hardest way possible, which is that you have to bring your entire self to it while also leaving yourself entirely out of it. As you can see by the following paragraph, as well as the ones that precede it, D interests me the most because it's the hardest thing to understand and/or control.
I think that's why Jes's journey was the most interesting, because you could see her slamming her entire body back and forth between those two poles: It's All About Me and It's Not About Me, vigorously as an A-Ha video, and never making it quite through the door into real life. It was always one or the other, or sometimes 50/50, and the trick is that it has to be 100/100.
Songwriting is more honest and more difficult than memoir, because you're dealing in at least two languages -- the one with words and the one without -- while also making a place for yourself, and for everybody else. You have to be completely true to your vision and your truth, while also constantly making allowances for your collaborator. You have to remember that it takes an ass to fill every seat, but never rely on the cheap or played-out to achieve those ends. You have to remember that a calling is not a job and that no amount of money is worth letting go, but that too much effort on the back end means you'll have no creativity to spare your calling.
You have to know when to check in and make sure you're not going on some life-wrecking tangent, but you also have to know when you're making the right move regardless of what people are telling you. You have to know that there's a beginning, a middle and an end, and you have to have the grace and patience to get there without losing your dignity. You have to remember that drinking and drugs, though they open the door, are not the only keys to the door, and that selling yourself as a neurotic artist or a drunk genius is a great way to close yourself off altogether; that everybody loves a rebel but nobody loves a revolutionary and everybody gets a hangover from an asshole. That any pass you write yourself today is going to charge you double one day very soon, so you need to operate as close to your higher self as you possible can if you don't want a bunch of hassles and bullshit later. That losing control is the key to creativity but staying in control is the key to everything else.