The spark of inspiration can take so very many forms - a phrase, a bit of melody, the beauty of nature, a great book, a broken heart. As a writer I’ve been inspired by all of these things but lately it seems that draw many of my ideas from spoken and written word.
Growing up, I was a gangly four-eyed wallflower with my nose perpetually stuck in a book. I was slightly-to-moderately afraid of most social interactions so I escaped as much as possible by reading. As a teenager, I remember buying CD’s, breaking open the case, and studying the lyrics. I thought everybody did that. I thought that’s why they printed them in the first place.
Because I love words, I’m always listening and looking, eager to find a phrase or expression that sounds interesting. It happened today at the post office when the postal worker asked me what all those letters meant at the end of my name. I rattled off my official title as a speech therapist but then quickly added, “Just a lot of letters that cost me a lot of money and took a lot of time.” Something about that phrase struck me as interesting so I did my writer’s work and as soon as I got back to my car entered those words into my lyric idea notebook into Evernote.
Several months ago, the phrase “bad blood” popped into my head. Such a rich expression! I wrote that down too. A few weeks later, I was banging a rhythm on my guitar and tried those words out. Here’s what it sounded like after developing the idea over a couple of writing sessions.
So always be on the look out for those things that inspire creative thought and if you have some time, share what inspires your writing.
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of local business leaders about everyday creativity. It was so much fun! Aside from performing some of my songs, I had the chance to speak to these folks about embracing creativity as a part of everyday life.
I thought it might be a good idea to share these ideas in my blog as well. So here goes...
No 1. CREATIVE THOUGHT CAN OCCUR ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. BE READY.
Most of my creative ideas start with a flash of inspiration, typically, a word or a phrase. Occasionally a melody or rhythm jumps into my brain. We're all different. Your spark may be a picture or something else. No matter how the spark starts, the question is: What do you do with it? Often times, ideas come to me at the most random moments - while I'm grocery shopping, driving in my car, showering, even while I'm sleeping. So for me this means grabbing a pen and paper or, more likely, my iPhone and writing down those words or recording that melody. I almost never have luxury of working on the thought right then and there. I do that during my scheduled writing time (we'll get into that later). I've learned that I really can't trust my memory and you probably shouldn't either. Always, always, always record your ideas and keep them in a place you'll be able to find later. For me it's a lovely little app on my phone called Evernote. Choose whatever works for you, but whatever you choose, use it!
Next time I'll share some of the things that inspire my songwriting. That should be interesting : ) In the meantime, I hope something in these words helped you in some way. And if you have other tips, please feel free to share them : )
One of the most interesting things about the creative process is the ideas that fuel the process. It's the spark that gets things going and it can come from the most mundane sources. In this instance it was my very bad kitty, Skipper, that help me write one of my newest songs. Here's the CXCW link that explains it all. Enjoy!
Welcome! Here you'll find my notes on my adventures in songwriting and life in general.