8. Maintaining a Personal Design Playground

THERE’S A WORLD WHERE I CAN GO AND TELL MY SECRETS TOIN MY ROOM, IN MY ROOMIN THIS WORLD I LOCK OUT ALL MY WORRIES AND MY FEARSIN MY ROOM, IN MY ROOM

DO MY DREAMING AND MY SCHEMINGLIE AWAKE AND PRAYDO MY CRYING AND MY SIGHINGLAUGH AT YESTERDAY

NOW IT’S DARK AND I’M ALONE BUT I WON’T BE AFRAIDIN MY ROOM, IN MY ROOM

—THE BEACH BOYS

One of my mantras has always been: “Everybody needs a place to fail.” One day I will get around to making the bumper sticker. I’m not advocating failure in and of itself. I’m talking about having a pressure-free environment that encourages free play and daring experimentation without fear of failure. In country music songwriting, there is a fine line between the sublime and ...

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