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Growing As A Writer


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Well, there it is!

I am naturally and organically of late looking at my lyrics - or some lyrics - wondering not

"SHOULD I make this more universally appealing?" but rather "HOW can I make this more

universally appealing while retaining the personal meaning and lyrical style characteristic

of the real writing me?"

It does not freak me out, and I do not fear at all selling out. Time...that great friend of time

and experience in songwriting has shown me I can be as quirky & stylistically myself as anyone.

It's just not an issue!

I have to laugh...this is a freeing experience. What the H was I so worried about before?

Because what I'd the most experience in previously was...Everything Had To Stand As Is.

I like this newer thing much better.

Anyone else go through this?

-D-

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hey Donna

yeah i remember coming to the same realization. For me it was realizing that the challenge was "How do i express exactly what i want to express, while making what i write more appealing". For example, if it allows more people to get what I meant, to hear the message, to feel the emotion, to connect with the song, then is it important to me as a writer if I use the word "solitary", rather than "all alone". It doesn't add anything other than an intellectual element to use "solitary". ok may choose solitary for rhyme scheme reasons but "all alone" reaches more people, so on balance, if there is no better reason then why distance yourself from a good section of the public who might not get "solitary".

Not a great example. It's more noticeable with flowery language. As lyrics writers there is a temptation to show off how clever we can be with words, when often all that is needed is simplicity and emotion.

As anyone who has read my work before might have noticed I tend write lyrics that convey a lot with as few words as possible, but all connected. It takes a lot of effort to pull together one of the complexly crafted lyrics. I say complexly crafted because sometimes the simplest language lyrics have to have a lot of work behind the scenes so that the lyrics read as simplistic. Does that make sense? Think of a duck on the water paddling like mad underneath but looking quite sedate above the surface.

Sometimes of course the majority of can pour out quickly creating a draft, however I still go through the phase of checking the language, particularly on songs that are intended for more open interpretation. i find the more focused the message the less effort is needed on the actual language. it's funny but I always thought it would be the opposite... but so many things push us to be exact in communication i guess we find it hard to convey something meaningful on one hand while leaving things open to interpretation.

ok i ramble! A lot!

Cheers

John

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hey Donna

yeah i remember coming to the same realization. For me it was realizing that the challenge was "How do i express exactly what i want to express, while making what i write more appealing". For example, if it allows more people to get what I meant, to hear the message, to feel the emotion, to connect with the song, then is it important to me as a writer if I use the word "solitary", rather than "all alone". It doesn't add anything other than an intellectual element to use "solitary". ok may choose solitary for rhyme scheme reasons but "all alone" reaches more people, so on balance, if there is no better reason then why distance yourself from a good section of the public who might not get "solitary".

Not a great example. It's more noticeable with flowery language. As lyrics writers there is a temptation to show off how clever we can be with words, when often all that is needed is simplicity and emotion.

As anyone who has read my work before might have noticed I tend write lyrics that convey a lot with as few words as possible, but all connected. It takes a lot of effort to pull together one of the complexly crafted lyrics. I say complexly crafted because sometimes the simplest language lyrics have to have a lot of work behind the scenes so that the lyrics read as simplistic. Does that make sense? Think of a duck on the water paddling like mad underneath but looking quite sedate above the surface.

Sometimes of course the majority of can pour out quickly creating a draft, however I still go through the phase of checking the language, particularly on songs that are intended for more open interpretation. i find the more focused the message the less effort is needed on the actual language. it's funny but I always thought it would be the opposite... but so many things push us to be exact in communication i guess we find it hard to convey something meaningful on one hand while leaving things open to interpretation.

ok i ramble! A lot!

Cheers

John

Hey John,

Thanks for that. I really appreciate you elaborating on the subject in general and your own challenge

in particular as well as your using an example.

Cannout agree more: the simple, understandable lyric is a BEAR - much more difficult and/or

requiring attention and thought....crafting. I'd think this would be even harder to write such a

lyric with open-ended or multiple interpretations.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, there it is!

I am naturally and organically of late looking at my lyrics - or some lyrics - wondering not

"SHOULD I make this more universally appealing?" but rather "HOW can I make this more

universally appealing while retaining the personal meaning and lyrical style characteristic

of the real writing me?"

It does not freak me out, and I do not fear at all selling out. Time...that great friend of time

and experience in songwriting has shown me I can be as quirky & stylistically myself as anyone.

It's just not an issue!

I have to laugh...this is a freeing experience. What the H was I so worried about before?

Because what I'd the most experience in previously was...Everything Had To Stand As Is.

I like this newer thing much better.

Anyone else go through this?

-D-

i think that, although making a song appealing to as many people as you can, the personal meaning and content should always remain core to the writer's intentions :) whatever the song is about there will always be someone somewhere experiencing it and being able to relate to it and so you are bringing that happiness of songwriting to somebody and to be honest being able to make just another feel like that then i'm happy but thats just me! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

When we are in the middle of writing a song, it seems so relevant and certainly a "hit." A year later we may feel completely estranged from it. But there it is, mocking us!

Well said.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i think that, although making a song appealing to as many people as you can, the personal meaning and content should always remain core to the writer's intentions :) whatever the song is about there will always be someone somewhere experiencing it and being able to relate to it and so you are bringing that happiness of songwriting to somebody and to be honest being able to make just another feel like that then i'm happy but thats just me! :)

Well said. I write what I want to hear. If I try to second guess what other people want, or what I think would be more "universal" or simple, or whatever, it always comes out wrong.

Also ... most listeners don't concentrate that hard on the lyrics in a song ... and some big hit songs have had pretty strange lyrics. However, I would agree there's no point just trying to clever for clever's sake - if you can be clever in a way that makes the song more attractive then go for it, but don't do it just to show off.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I submit that, from the first moment you undertake to do any sort of serious commercial (or at least, public) writing, "something is all-of-the-sudden very different." You already know just how demanding you are when it comes to the music that you decide to listen to. It's really tough to be willing to put your own work out there to possibly become subject to the same kind of treatment. It's tougher still to contemplate actually offering such material for sale.

But I do think that this is how you grow as a writer ... as a writer of anything. It makes you reach deeper, and in so doing, to discover things that you never even knew were there.

I also think that it behooves us all to remember that ... "we are in the Internet Age now." The marketplace for music has never been larger, because music has never been more accessible to more people. But, even so, people are just as demanding about their music as they have ever been. And, they are just as hungry for something new and wonderful.

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