Writing Lryics: Accept the ideas that hit you!

Since diving into music making I’ve also become a bigger music fan. This could be indicated by the correlation between the decrease of netflix movies and increase of musician/producer interviews watched on my computer. (trying to keep my math skills fresh here!)

I enjoy watching interviews of my favorite artists explaining their creative processes behind songs and albums and I wanted to write a ‘Top 5 List’ type of blog entry to summarize the key writing methods I’ve observed or practiced.

The thing is, my list of 5 kind of ended up at something around 20! Can you really sum up such a dynamic and creative process in only 5 key points? I concluded that each lyric writing technique deserved to be its own entry 🙂 So here is the first tip:

Accept the ideas that hit you!

My husband will sometimes jump out of bed when we’re falling asleep, grab his guitar and the i-touch I got him for Christmas, and fumble around the room in the dark exclaiming “I’ve gotta record this idea before I forget it!” I used to laugh at him when this happened, but now that I’m working on music, I find myself doing the same thing…

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love, explores this phenomenon in her 2009 TED talk, ‘Your Elusive Creative Genius.’ Is it some kind of genius that strikes us with noteworthy ideas when we are least expecting them? Well not exactly genius the way we define it today, but more like an ancient version of the word. Gilbert explains how the ancient Romans identified a genius as a divine spirit that mysteriously provided artists with rich content and inspiration. Instead of the artist embodying the genius, something that Gilbert believes puts unnecessary pressure on artists today, the Romans envisioned a separation of the artist and the mysterious creative spirit.

For anyone interested in watching Gilbert’s talk, here is a link:

Now I had watched this talk for the first time about a year ago, and one thing I took from it was to be prepared.  Be prepared for your ideas to hit you at anytime! Be it pen and paper, or cool trendy smart phone, grab them and record them when they strike! Capture them before they vanish back into the mysterious world they came from, whether its a genius spirit or the intricacies of your subconscious 🙂

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