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"Songs Are Little Pieces Of Jewelry"

I get a lot of encouraging letters from people 
who say nice things about my writings... 
songs, articles, and stories. 
It's a real incentive to write more. 

Most of my writing 
seems to me to be accidental. 
By that I mean: 
I have never planned or plotted a story or song in my life. 
I don't know how. 

I usually let my mind wander into a situation, 
real or imaginary, 
and the pictures unfold in front of me. 
I just take down what happens, as it happens. 

I don't know what the ending will be 
until it ends. 
I'm as surprised as everybody else. 

I seldom know the title of a song 
until the rest of it is done. 
I often have a temporary working title 
but it's usually replaced 
and demoted to a line somewhere in the piece. 

Any craftsmanship I may have comes later, 
when I go in and heartlessly edit the whole thing, 
trying to get rid of all phrases that don’t add to the story, 
and replacing all words that are almost right 
with ones that are closer to right. 

I don't like fill-in lines. 
I'd rather have it short. 
Or, maybe a better word is “tight”. 

In school sports I was a good sprinter 
but not good in any race over 100 yards. 
I did okay in football, baseball, and hockey 
because the action is in spurts. 
My writing limitations are the same... 
short all-you've-got bursts. 

I like composing song lyrics. 
because they're miniatures, 
like little pieces of jewelry. 

Working out the music part is fun 
because the secret of music is surprises. 

The music can come first, last, or along with the words. 
No formula works for me all the time. 

I'm telling you this 
because people are often interested in how writers work. 
I know I am. 

I would write even if I never got paid... 
which is somewhat true. 

Some guys play golf. 

Copyright © May 11, 2006 by Jack Blanchard, Reprinted By Permission. 
All rights reserved.

 

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