Thursday, June 2, 2011

What I Learned...

Hello all,

So, if you've been following, then you are already aware of the challenge I presented myself, and the fact that every day for the month of May I finished a song's worth of lyrics as a means of forcing creativity.  I would like to thank you for taking this journey with me.  As I said, it ain't all gold, but I am very proud to say that I am happy with the outcome of the month, and there are some real gems in there that I fully plan on working with/editing/elaborating on...

Throughout this process, there are a few things that I learned:

   1.  It's hard to write a song a day!  I found that after a few days, my mind started regressing to things I had already written, or melodic lines/song styles/structures that I had just used.  I suppose this isn't a bad thing, but I definitely wanted to really test myself and try to create something brand new everyday, and it became difficult once I had drained the most prominent ideas.

   2.  It's hard to create something brand new!  Each time I was looking to do a song, I found that there was almost always a song I already knew of (usually by someone else) that my mind used as a frame of reference.  I don't think I should be bothered by this.  Everyone hears and processes things a bit differently, so I'm sure that my outcome will either end up sounding nothing like the potential 'source' material, or it will sound too much like it, but spark a change.  And at that point, at least I'll have the lyrics started!

   3.  No matter what the topic of the song, it's all based in two main ideas...'Hope' and 'Fear'.  I had learned this concept in college, but it becomes far more apparent when you are on the writer's side.  Every song is delivered to it's audience by a character, and that character has to want something.  The songs that I feel came out best from this experiment are the ones in which the character is clearly yearning for something, or making a decision...based on their hopes or their fears.

   4.  What's the story, Morning glory?!  Every song not only needs a character to relay it, but it also is immensely beneficial to know/build surrounding circumstances.  The more specific the story is in your head, the more specific the character/lyric can be, and through that specificity you allow a wider audience to connect with your work.  "Universality through Specificity."  (I heard Stephen Schwartz mention something about this at a reading series for which he was on a panel.  So true.)

   5.  Music is vital!  I appreciate those of you who've been following, or checking the site out sporadically, but I understand how difficult it is to follow a page of JUST lyrics.  It is not always easy to decipher the rhythm, or the rhyme scheme, and it is certainly not easy to figure out what melody the writer has in mind.  For my next challenge, I am working out a remedy to this.

   6.  Most importantly:  While I am glad that I did this, I found that by the end of writing each song, I had little creative energy left over to work on other projects.  This may have been different if I wasn't working a day job during most of this process, but I think that the majority of my focus went to this.  I'm looking forward to getting back to my musical, where I already have a set idea as to style/focus/story/character, and can really hone in on cleaning that up with my newfound knowledge.

As I said before, thank you so much for joining me for this journey.  I am planning to do another self-challenge soon, that will probably allow me a bit more time to create, but will incorporate scan, music...etc.  I'm very excited!

If you are just now reading this, you can find out what my SOTD challenge was all about by reading this.  I would be more than happy, in fact appreciative, to have you be my guest, and browse through the songs from the month.  Remember, each of them was written in a 24 hour period, and I advise starting from the beginning, 'I Turn The Page', and going through from there. Please feel free to comment, or send me any thoughts you may have, but please keep it constructive.  This has been a learning process, and I want to keep the experience positive.  In fact, if you like it, please click 'Follow' on the upper right corner of the blog.  It won't send anything you're way, but it'll make me look cooler!

Thanks again, and I'll be back soon with more 'Lee'rical Wordplay!


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