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A Writing Life

You may notice that I have changed the title of this infrequent blog, from Thoughts About Songwriting, to "Thoughts about a Writing Life".  I haven't stopped writing songs -- far from it. But I have been writing a number of…

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Pow.

There is a moment, in the life of a great song, when the world gets to hear it for the first time.  I've witnessed it a few times, and read about it too.  Picture this:  a songwriter (or an artist…

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Refocus and restart ... Getting to progress

Wow !   Turns out, it's been months since I had anything new to say in this space. Well that isn't going to continue. In the intervening time, I've finished the first draft of a first novel, and gotten two thirds…
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Songwriting workshop - moving ahead on March 21

I can't put it off any longer: I'm going ahead with the first of my own songwriting workshops.  It's not the one I thought I would offer first, and for which I wrote a nifty little workbook -- currently sitting…
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Time to Get Moving

I had two poems included in an art exhibition this weekend -- they'll be hanging in the gallery and hallway for another week or two -- and that's fine with me. It felt good to be doing something with those…
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A Poem - Out Loud (Title: For Colleen Peterson) 

So ... long before I was a lyricist, I wrote poetry.  For most of my years in high school and university, that was what I expected to be: a poet.  

This particular poem, titled For Colleen Peterson, with Thanks
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Narrowing the Funnel

The point of a funnel is ... the point.  It's a big, wide (-ish) catching basin that narrows down to something that fits into the tiny bottle, or whatever.  Funnels are about focus. 

Oddly enough, so is songwriting.  Big, long-reaching…
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So ... what? - The Verse-Chorus pairing

There's a funny kind of relationship between a verse and a chorus, in my opinion.   The idea is that a verse leads to the chorus, or alternatively, to the hook line at the end of the verse, in an AABA…
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Get Yer Silly On !

I take songwriting seriously.  Very seriously.  Really, I do. But sometimes, you just have to get yer silly on. Or your whimsy. Cut loose. Sometimes, it's important to just ... lighten the heck up!  A lot! 

There we are, industriously…
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Moving from Mood to Music

So. You're moody. That's strange. And you call yourself a musician.  What kind of a mood is it? A songwriting mood? Well, most of them are. 

What to do?  Play something. Sing something. Write something. Listen to something. Any of…
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Be Hard on the Song

When I was a workshop coordinator for the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) we used to organise "Publisher Critique Nights" in which a music publisher would come out and critique songs for our workshop participants. It was a rare and…
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Boy In The Window 

I wrote this song -- called Boy In The Window -- with my friend and co-writer David Joseph, after several long conversations about the basic idea (and some of the inspiration for it). It was his original hook idea. Sadly…