Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Are you Singing your Song?
It wasn't this version, but I had this song on a little 45 record (Wiki link for you young folks) when I was little. It's pretty catchy, as you'll discover later today when you find yourself humming it.
But more memorable than the melody were the messages: Just Sing. Make it Simple. Don't worry. There's a reason All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten was such a hit. There are times, as adults, we make things more complicated than they need to be. If we go back to the basics, we may find the answers we are looking for.
As writers, it may bring Joy to our writing when the going gets tough.
Songs sung from the heart touch us. Our writing begins there as well. Writers have stories deep inside that they want to get out and sing--maybe in private, maybe to an audience--but the "songs" are there. When we begin, we need to let go of our expectations of the end result and just enjoy the words eager to rush out and make our fingers dance across the keyboard.
Keep it Simple
Rough drafts are not for stressing over every sound, every sentence. Let the words flow in the most basic sense, telling your story with a simple melody of words. Rough is raw. Raw is where our underlying energy is found. Later, in our 'editing studios', we can add the beats to give our stories their tempo, we can mix in the metaphors to give our writing its depth.
We get caught up in if we are telling the story the right way, even as we are still writing. As we are reading our first drafts, we fret over if it can be sold, if our writing group will like it, how long the editing will take. Instead, we just need to be concerned with the next 'verse'--we are still 'just singing' but the song has moved along.
We should sit back and again listen with our hearts, then compose the next draft with the same peaceful joy. Once we've taken away the worries and focused on the work, our time spent will be much more fruitful.
And that's music to our ears.
I wanted to write about music a bit today, because I heard news from my dad. The song that inspired my story "Melody of the Heart" in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad: 101 Stories of Gratitude, Love, and Good Times is on the CD/MP3 that's now available through CDBaby. The song is called "Tina Marie '73" and it's track 9; if you'd like to listen to a little sample of any of the songs, just click on the arrow to the left of the title.