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Songwriters Are Imagineers!
By Beth Lawrence - 09/20/2012 - 03:17 PM EDT

Songwriting is a great way to express your innermost thoughts and feelings.  It's a great creative outlet for describing an event or experience that can entertain or inspire others.  Much of what we write comes directly from that firsthand experience, as we allow others into our hearts and minds through song.  This is how we are able to connect with our audience - by creating a commonality that we can share.

But songwriters, who create music out of thin air, are also great Imagineers.  We are very adept at creating fictional stories filled with conflicted characters, and dripping with emotional angst.  This is what we do - we create stories, fictional or otherwise,  then put them to music.  We are Imagineers!

When I wrote my lullaby project, The Land of Sleepytime….lullabies for the heart and soul, I loved creating a world of magic, fantasy and loving intention.  I dedicated that CD to my Mom, who always sang me a lullaby before I'd fall off to sleep.  When the CD was finished, I gave her a copy and she was just astonished.  Not because I had dedicated it to her, but because she felt that I had so perfectly captured the essence of love between a mother and child.  Why did this surprise her?  I don't have children of my own!  And yet, it wasn't a stretch at all for me to imagine not only the magical world of a child, where rainbows and starry nights are commonplace, but know and feel the gentle love a mother feels for her new baby.  Love is love, and though it can have many different permutations, I knew how I loved my own mother, and translated that feeling into the lyrics of my lullabies.  Imagineering a bed that becomes a boat sailing through a sea of love was not a stretch for me!  And imagining the love between a mother and child was something I could easily feel and write about.

Songwriters also have a great knack for combining the known with the imagined.  If a personal situation needs to remain confidential, we can easily adapt it to deliver the same message, we've just changed the story and tweaked the characters a bit to protect our personal space.  That's also a great way to work out an emotional issue.  Just take your own situation and rework it in song so that the outcome is positive and exactly what you would want to have happen in real life!  What a wonderful gift we have - to be able to imagineer problems and confrontations into happy endings!  Imagineering combined with reality is a great way to write songs that give you a protected space, so that no one really knows if it's truth or fiction.  It will remain a mystery whether or not whatever you're singing about really happened to you,  and will keep the audience guessing as to whether you are baring your soul, or just being a brilliant Imagineer!

If you're stuck trying to find situations that would make good songs, just look around you, they are everywhere.  The most mundane circumstance can be turned into a juicy song just by infusing it with real emotion.  Always ask yourself 'what's the feeling that underlies this action or situation?'  It's always about feeling.  Songwriting is so freeing because nobody is telling us what we can write about - it's all fair game and all open to our own interpretation!  We are free to spill our innermost feelings, or simply imagine how it might feel to be in a certain place, time and emotional state.  We can create worlds of wonder with our words and music.  We are songwriters…..we are Imagineers!  ©2012 Beth Lawrence



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