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Write what you know...

Write What You Know...Go With The Flow...Channel A Hero...

Write what you know”. I’ve heard that from many writers over the years, and when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. It becomes quite clear when you try it both ways. I’ve certainly written some things that are outside my realm of experience, and some of it is pretty good stuff – and some of it is crap. My absolute best writing, though, has come from personal experience or observation. Things I have lived through or at least know enough about to create from. And when I write that way everything seems to flow right out. When I’m in “The Zone”, that is. There are times when I’m working on some lyrics and the song starts out with the flash of an idea. A line or two that gives me that little jolt –“Ooh! I may have something here!” A few more lines may come quickly, but then whammo! – the creative juices dry up! I start working harder, running ideas through my head, searching for rhymes or key words or fun words or clever words, then working my way back to figure out how the verse should begin or what exactly it is I’m trying to say. Then I realize I am just working too hard and have to let it go for a while, sometimes for days. Then I'll come back to it. I’ll read what I’ve got so far and see if it can spark something. And sometimes it does. But I really get the best results when I’m not thinking much at all. When I’m doing something else that doesn’t take much concentration, like doing the dishes or taking a shower. The absolute best writing I’ve done has been while driving or running. Something about putting my brain on auto-pilot and allowing it to wander around aimlessly until it stumbles upon word combinations that are satisfying to me. I’ve written entire songs on a 5 mile run or a two hour drive. And as with just about any writer, I am inspired by my heroes. The artists whose music and lyrics move me or inspire me. The ones who make me say, “Damn, I want to write a song like that!” Hey, if I can come halfway close to what my heroes can do, then I must be on the right track! Lately, I have been listening to a lot of music that is new to me. Some of my newer songs have been inspired by an idea that came to me while listening to them, whether it was a lyric I heard or simply the way a song made me feel. Ultimately, though, my writing has to first satisfy my own creativity. And that is when I am most fulfilled. It is a gratifying bonus when others enjoy my music as well, or perhaps someone may even be inspired to write something of their own.

Thanks for listening. Stay tuned…

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