In the summer of 2017 I was writing lots of songs, some of which found themselves onto the Our Place EP. Writing the melodies and chords came more naturally to me than writing the lyrics and so I tried various exercises to help me improve.
One such exercise was to pick one word (or get someone else to pick it for you) and spend ten minutes writing about that word. About the way it makes you feel, about the associations you have with it, about how you might experience the word sensorily. I did it with a friend, and we would send the results of the ten minutes writing to each other each day, along with the word for the next day.
We both really enjoyed the exercise – and although we only did it for 3 weeks, I have no doubt that it not only helped me improve at writing lyrics, but also to pluck up the courage to start writing this blog.
As for my friend, he has real talent, but works in an industry far-removed from creative writing. Recently I sent him one of the pieces he wrote in response to the word ‘hay’. It was a really well-written piece, in which he described beautifully a scene from his childhood when the hay was saved at the end of one summer.
The next time I met him he thanked me for sending him on the piece. He had never read any of the pieces back, and I think he got a pleasant surprise at how good the piece was. He told me that he wished he could get back into the habit again, as having that creative and reflective element to his day, however small, brought him some joy and peace.
10 minutes. Today. Write something. It doesn’t have to be well-written, wise, or beautiful. Just something, from you. Go on.