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Writing Lyrics

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When you write lyrics, or poems, do you edit as you go, or do a brain dump and then edit?

I tend to edit as I go, but I sometimes find that this ruins creative flow. I can become hyper-critical to the point that writing stalls, and the lyric mmay never be finished. When I do dump it down on paper, however, I find that I become attached to the lyric and more reluctant to change it.

Anyone else have this problem? If so, how have you addressed it?



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Guest voclizr

How I usually do it is, after I finish my music trax I get the ol' paper & pen and just let it happen. Sometimes takes awhile but I can usually thrash something out in about an hour or two. Sometimes I'll punch it in line by line and sometimes I wait to get at least one verse together before I lay it down. If the voice track sux, I can re-cut it later.

:) John B.

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John - now calling it a brain dump puts things in perspective! I'd never put a name to doing this, but once the lyric was there on paper I thought it kinda sacred (not *I* sacred).

Mon Capitaine, I think you got me out of doing this. The little Christmas contest last year. Or maybe it was the whole board. But somehow in conversing with other writers, a new detachment came and I had periods of looking at the thing as something to shape - both lyric and music. Hard to explain.

What I remember specifically was looking at the brain dump/sacred lyric and asking, "is that the way I want the story to go?" So first, I thought of the lyric as a story. Second, I acknowledged that story could go any of a dozen ways...then thirdly, I kinda found "which" way, just by what I thought might be an interesting story, or one I was at least comfortable with.

Some lyrics are so personal that comfort becomes a necessity.

I didn't at all agree with the Lord of the Rings filmmakers doing this, where they declare "We thought it wasn't so important that Gandalf [or whoever] said "their" line, but that SOMEONE said it."

With writing original material, though, one can put the personal in and yet add other things, which can obscure some of the too personal - in a way "having someone else" say it, so that both expression and comfort are in a nice balance. Detachment I think is a fruit of this, or maybe a cause. But those three are a good trio! That's what the board has taught me.

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