Write As You Speak

Earlier I had written about brevity, storytelling and imagery.

I’ve been studying and really trying to listen to the lyrics of song writers that I like and admire.

What I find common in all these writers is that they tell their stories with simple and clear thoughts.  They write in a way that people speak.

I look at lyrics from aspiring song writers and see what they most likely perceive as clever as just being cryptic nonsense.

I am not saying that writing cannot be cryptic.  The phrases should read as if from a book, as if a narrative of the story.  They should read as if I was sitting with my friends and family telling them a story.

What is not clever is stringing together a bunch of words that sound weird or cool together.  What is clever is conveying the story and imagery to the listener so they see the images in their heads.  Make it poetic but make it simple and honest.

It surely isn’t stuff like “purple man moon beams shoot from the stars of a volcanic nose bleed sky.  Far out man.  What the fuck man.

The artists I have been listening to on a regular basis and I have mentioned them as my favorites before are James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Sting to name a few and I recently rediscovered John Hiatt.

What draws me to these song writers is their common thread, their simple and honest approach to telling a story.  They write lines that flow and create the stories and pictures in my head.

Simplicity and honesty, these are two of my favorite things in music and life.

Simple and honest, after 57 years this has become my philosophy of life.  It all boils down to being simple and honest.

So I need to try to refine my writing and my playing to be as simplistic and honest as possible.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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