Professional songwriters often have very different opinions regarding what might be the most important skills a young songwriter must possess (and/or develop). I often read interviews with writers and one of my favorite comments about important skills is one I read this morning. This songwriter called it a “Sense of Discovery“. I love that.
It’s true that in order to be a great songwriter, you must first be a great listener. You need something to draw from and you can really only draw from two places, 1) an active imagination, or 2) real life. And I would venture to say that 9 times out of 10, real life is what most consumers are going to connect with best.
Instead of trying to draw from our own life or our own imagination for every song, it’s important to observe, listen and discover what’s going on around us. I’m reminded of a friend from the deep South who always had the funniest one-liners. He could keep you rolling on the floor laughing for hours. If I had just listened close enough, remembered, and even made a few notes, I’m quite sure I would now have a real gem or two for the start of a grand country song. But it’s not just the funny one-liners that work for songs. It’s experiences and feelings and reactions and situations. Whether we’re writing a love song, a sad song, a song of celebration or a song of worship, we can deliver songs that connect with the heart when we draw from real life.
Listen and observe this week and enjoy the process of discovery. Discover exciting new things to write about!