Posts Tagged ‘write what you know’

start where you are

December 2, 2015

Where are you right now? I mean both literally and emotionally. Stop and notice what is on your mind right now. You can take your frame of mind at this moment and put it into a song.

How are you feeling? Are you bored, tired, frustrated, content, distracted, ecstatic, lonely, excited, surprised? Whatever you’re currently feeling or thinking about (bills, co-workers, love life, aches and pains, zits) is enough to begin writing a song about.

You know the expression ‘write what you know’? Well no one knows your feelings better than you. And I bet some of your thoughts and feelings can be turned into a song that will be relatable by others who share some of those same feelings.

Next time you’re stuck for a song topic, start where you are.

Unfamiliar Territory

May 28, 2009


When it comes to writing, we’ve all heard the phrase, “Write what you know.” Good advice and it works. In fact, it was the subject of a tip in our June 22, 2002 ezine, issue #17. We still recommend it highly.

But what about the opposite approach? How about doing something bold and daring, and writing a song on a topic about which you know NOTHING? Why not? Taking it a step further, try writing on a subject that NO ONE knows anything about.

For example, you could write a song about:

– what cats are thinking
– the power of cheese
– living on another planet
– the life and times of a subatomic particle
– crossing the ocean in a life raft
– the daily travels of a water droplet
– what that rock you just tripped on has seen over the ages

This can be a chance for you to let your imagination run wild! Who’s to challenge you on the validity of what you say? For example:

I am a tiny particle
That zips around a nucleus.
I’ve been charged with being negative,
But the claim is rather dubious.

Put a spin on me if you will,
You won’t see me standing still.
Try to catch me if you can
An electron name of Dan

OK, the above is kinda strange, but I wrote that in five minutes. Think of what you could do if you really got into it!

The point here is that when it’s something you know nothing about, it can free your mind to go to places that are not bound by logic or facts. Just let your mind go where it will, there’s bound to be a song in it!

Let us know if you find this exercise helpful, and if you have any that work for you — we’d love to hear about them!