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Reasons to Hope

The Hope of Creating Something Real

Alissa and her boys. Photo: Jenny Cruger

Grammy-nominated songwriter Alissa Moreno knows a thing or two about getting your hopes up. After writing a number one song with Rascal Flatts, her career — already on the rise — went into overdrive, and she found herself riding the unpredictable waves of the entertainment industry as a performing artist and fully-proven songwriter. 

By the time I met Alissa, she was married to a wonderful man, also in the music industry, mother to a sweet young son named Ryman, with another on the way, and she was writing more songs than ever. We became fast friends as we discovered a shared vision for collaboration within an increasingly competitive industry. Alissa welcomed me into her songwriting circles, introducing me to her friends on Music Row. She never seemed concerned about sharing her opportunities with others; there was always enough to go around. 

We started a music collective called BAAM, inspired by the creative energy of motherhood and founded on the belief we’re all better off when we’re all better off. We began to host songwriting camps, industry nights, showcases, and workshops. Throughout everything we did, there was a spirit of gratitude, generosity, and hope. The pandemic put BAAM Collective on hold, but as I look back at what we were able to do, I realize that I learned so much from Alissa about creativity and hope. 

To be creative, whether as a mother (bringing a human into the world could be seen as the ultimate creative act), or as a songwriter — hope is required. The good news is hope comes naturally when we surrender to the creative process, just like the best songs arrive as gifts nearly fully formed, God-given, inspired. When Alissa and I would write a good song together, there would be an instant jolt of energy around the whole experience. We would rush to finish the demo and get it to whomever we thought needed to hear it, wherever it was meant to go. Then we would wait and ride the roller coaster of emotion that comes with putting yourself out there and believing just enough that you are just enough, that your music matters, that your voice will be heard, that your song will be sung by someone who has been looking for those exact words to sing all along. This someone could be a country star singing your song all the way to the top of the Billboard charts, or an unknown fan singing at the top of his lungs in the shower. The outcome may differ, but the cause remains the same. The song is a good song. You created something real. Hope wins. 

Alissa Moreno, pregnant with her third child, Radnor. Photo: Jenny Cruger

I’m excited to talk with Alissa for week 28 of Reasons to Hope on all things creative, from having her third baby in the middle of a pandemic while homeschooling her children and welcoming the entire neighborhood to join them, recording a new album and signing a record deal on top of it all. Join us this Monday at 3pm ET on Root and Vine’s Instagram Live. 

We’ve been writing the Book of Hope together for 28 weeks now, but it’s never to late to join us. Here’s all you need to get started