I always wrote songs, ever since I started playing guitar when I was 11. I kept on writing them in all stages of my life, but almost never let anyone hear them. I did sing a couple for my H when I was young, and he hated them. Maybe one reason he wanted a divorce?
I kept on playing guitar, writing songs and instrumentals, but I was always playing alone. Then, when I was over 50 I went to my first bluegrass jam and decided to start playing banjo.
I struggled with trying to learn bluegrass banjo, and went to bluegrass jams, and acoustic jams, and folk jams, and private jams. I kept writing songs. Once in a while I sang an original song at a jam, but didn't get any encouragement. No one seemed to like them.
As I kept on jamming and practicing banjo, my ideas about music evolved. I realized I didn't like the music to any of the songs I had ever written.
Now, when I write songs, I have a much better idea of how I want the music to sound. And I have re-written the music to some of my old songs.
I have also realized, or decided, that the most important thing about a song is the performance and the arrangement. You could write a great song, but if you can't arrange it and perform it in an interesting and skillful way, no one will notice it. And you could write a simple song, with a great performance and arrangement, and people will love it.
I also realized that I can't perform my songs alone. Especially since now I would rather play bluegrass banjo than guitar.
I want to perform my songs with at least a guitar player, and other singers. I would rather sing harmony than lead.
So far I did that once, at an open mic. And planning another song for the next open mic. I am over 60, and just started doing open mics this year.
I realize there are millions, or billions, of songs in this world already, and there isn't any good reason for writing more. But I like to. Every song I write is kind of like many others, but in some way slightly different.
So, playing bluegrass banjo has indirectly led to me having better ways to express myself with songwriting.