WRITING FOR THE OTHER GUY

It's the classic "Songwriter's delima 101." You get into a much anticipated writer's session, particularly with a more experienced writer, someone with hits, and artist, or someone with publishing or label contacts. You want to make a good impression, sit down and start pulling out your ideas that you thought were SO GREAT! Then, one by one, they are shot down like a skeet shooting tournament. The idea doesn't appeal to the other writer, they have written several just like it, or the biggest, "Man I have just heard that ten million times and HATE IT!"

You now hear the inevitable question, "What else you got?" And you don't have anything.

This is why most Nashville sessions are written off the cuff on something made up on the spot. Most ideas "are good at the time", when you are in a bar (somehow those two AM drunk brilliant ideas don't sound so good in the cold light of day) or when you are in a different mood than when you come to the session. Another "I broke up with my girlfriend/boyfriend..." is not really going to cut through to anybody. They don't care.

You might come to the inescapable conclusion that "This stuff is not just about YOU!" You might try to think about writing about "THEM."

I sit in rooms around or over 200 times a year to work with people on songs. I rarely come away without a finished song. One of the reasons? Because I ask them about "WHAT IS GOING ON IN THEIR LIVES?"

Reality. IT'S WHAT FOR DINNER.

If you talk to people about what they are really living, add your own experiences or those of people you know, find the reality of the situation THEN find a bit of a spin on that reality so you give it to someone differently, you will ALWAYS come up with songs. And being able to "stand back" somewhat and act as a narrator, gives something of a 20/20 hindsight element to it. Perspective. Try it out.

This really happens when you are writing with artitsts with limited life experiences. It is pretty hard for a 14 year old girl to talk about how much her heart has been destroyed. At least in a way that some 24-25-30 year old woman won't say "Get over it kid. What do YOU know?"

We are not trying to "tell people something they don't know. We are trying to tell them something they know, but have never seen it in that way before.
So that is your quest.

The best way is to GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY.
You do that by WRITING ABOUT THE OTHER GUY!

I'll cover that in a minute. Thanks for reading. You can comment on these, so let me hear from you.

MAB

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