Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tapping into the creative process or waiting for the cosmic two by four

Some days an experience triggers a song and it just comes out. Many of these are experiences that I could do without. How many heartache, got hit by a train songs have we heard? It’s like this cosmic 2 X 4 hits you on the head providing all the content and emotion needed for writing a song. The challenge is tap into the creative process, whenever you want, even if everything is going great, possibly ducking that 2 X 4.

I was in a class on the creative process the other night. Just learning something new sparked creativity. Here are some other thoughts.

· Creation is going on all the time. New ideas and thoughts are everywhere. At times you are either drawing things in or pushing them away. (Ernest Holmes). The challenge and opportunity is being open and receptive to new ideas.

· “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one we have” (Emile Chartier)? “The best way to get a good idea, is to get a lot of ideas” (Roger von Oech). The number of ideas and your ability to generate new ideas is unlimited.

· In the presence of some people or experiences we are inspired, uplifted to great things. From where do your ideas flow?

· There are infinite perspectives on an idea or experience. People have been writing about love for thousands of years and can still find a unique perspective.

These are great concepts, so how do I use them in songwriting?

· To get inspired, I need to have lots of new experiences. This means getting out of the house, going to the mountains, being around interesting people, reading a good book...

· When I write, I often write one verse, go for a walk or do something else. The next verses come when I can tap into that stockpile of ideas hidden within the clutter in my mind.

· Take a concept or word and find multiple meanings. Here’s one example, I took the word “Cup.” Some of the ideas were - full or empty, large or small, cold or hot, steamy, hot chocolate, open or with a lid, right side up or upside down, cracked, water/beer/wine, part of a set, dusty, lipstick on the rim, spots left by the dishwasher, ....

The last point inspired me, now off to do the dishes.

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