I have been doing what I'm doing since, my mom says, I was four. I've been processing my life by writing songs at the piano since I was very little. I have tapes and books full of songs from junior high, through high school, through college. In college I decided I was going to teach music, or do something in the field of music. So I took music theory, and I failed the course because I'm not very technically proficient. I was devastated. I couldn't believe it. I was embarrassed and felt shot down. I remember thinking, Well, that's that. I'm not technically proficient, so I can't go into music for a living. I felt I was losing my best friend.
A little while later, I had a teacher that came to me and asked why she hadn't seen me around the music department anymore. She told me I was not the most technically proficient student she'd ever had, but that it's possible to be musical without being technically proficient. She sowed a seed in me that I could still be creative. I got quiet and God asked me a question: Could you write music even if it wasn't what you were doing for a living? I said, okay, I see—this is a hobby I'll do until I'm old.
So I continued to pursue songwriting. It's always been more emotionally born for me, like I've got something in my gut, and if I don't get it out, it's haunting me. Then I sit down to cry it out, and to work through it. When I need some courage, I write a song about courage. It's my own little pill—it's my own medicine.1