I’m Too Happy To Write

Β© I.Woloshen

I was at a songwriter‘s night recently where two writers said they hadn’t written anything for months because they were too happy! Does this mean that you have to be miserable to be creative? Well, that my friends, is a songwriting myth!

It’s obvious that when you are in one of your dark periods, you can better tap into the emotions that go along with it. But if you feel that you are a slave to your moods and can’t produce without them, you haven’t tried hard enough yet. How would staff songwriters at publishing companies ever eat if they had to depend on their state-of-mind?

First of all, you limit yourself if you think that the only good songs are miserable ones. You may be attracted to them, but they are only a small portion of what you are capable of. And you ALSO limit yourself if you decide ahead of time that an uplifting song is going to be crap. Have you ever written a happy song? Trust me, I write lots of ’em and they can be a lot of fun to write! So my first piece of advice to you is to write in opposite feelings than you are used to…spread your wings a bit and try a different emotional feel.

Secondly, you are not new to this world, you’ve been here awhile (even if you’re only 15!). You have had many experiences already, some of them quite traumatic, that you can draw from if you insist on writing something miserable πŸ™‚ But getting to that creative “place” will take a little work.

Here are some ideas: If you’ve ever meditated, do so. Clearing your head of all present thoughts and feelings will also clear your emotional slate and give you a chance to really remember those times. If you don’t know a thing about meditation, it is really about releasing yourself from thinking for a little while. It’s hard to do at first, but keep at it…just sit there and think of NOTHING. Hard to do, eh? πŸ™‚

Once you feel you are ‘blank’ enough, go back in your mind to a time when you were really unhappy, angry, sad or distraught. Only YOU know what those times were. Close your eyes and visualize that period of time…think about how that emotion felt in your body, picture every detail about that time that you can. The more detail you remember, the closer you will come to re-experiencing it. Spend a little time there, and then pull out a pen or your instrument, whichever you use first. Either write out a description of those feelings…all of it, physical, emotional, everything…or play some chords that get close to that feeling. Just a warning though…once you’re finished, DO take the time to visualize yourself back into your present, happy state πŸ™‚

I’ll give you an example of something that I often use in my writing, especially when trying to express sorrow or grief. It is a picture I’ve had in my head since I was 14…it is my mother’s bedroom, she is dying of cancer, she is holding my hand and that act alone is scaring me. She is saying goodbye, although at the time I don’t realize it’s her last goodbye. To this day, I become overwhelmed when I think of that scene. I have used it many times to get myself into that emotional frame of mind.

I have also used memories from wonderful, flirtatious experiences to write romantic or lustful songs πŸ™‚ And if I want to write something self-effacing, I remember some stupid things I did in my life…you see what I mean? You’ve already got a headful (literally) of experiences to draw upon when you are “Too Happy To Write”!! Oh yeah, how about not taking a bath or shower for a couple of days? That’ll make you pretty miserable πŸ™‚







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