March 28, 2023 | Blog
Arts and Leisure: The Artist At Work, Lyrically Speaking
Music is one of the greatest things in life. While a book, movie, TV Show, or Video Game can take 30 minutes to hundreds of hours, a piece of music can usually have it all in 2 – 5 minutes. I would place any of the songs by The Beatles in comparison or superior to so many of those properties that exist to entertain or as art.
One corner stone that I would like to talk about as theming for the RE-creating RECREATION Conference hosted on March 23-24, 2023 is in Mental Health, and how recreational activities can improve on that aspect. I had encountered the first signs of clinical depression at the age of 15, which dovetailed with wanting to develop a hobby too, but I had no expressive outlets. I had to seek something that I was influenced by and could pick it up very simply. One of my first loves was the work of Bob Dylan because he was the first one where I listened to the lyrics with intent. Another love was The Beatles, because of the integration of great lyrics and great melodies. I wanted to be like them both, especially The Beatles, and during that year, I came up with my first written work that described what I was going through – ‘Jailhouse Blues’. It was a discovery that what I thought was the simplest form of expression – poetry and song lyrics – would be very powerful later.
My parents learned about my skillfulness early on when I shared with them two writings at a Mexican restaurant – a moment I will never forget. I am not exactly skilled that much at anything, but I was able to keep it a secret, and to share with them on my own terms that I was writing things also as a therapeutic outlet. While my father declared me to be a poet, I’ve always considered myself more of a lyricist. There is little money to be made in poetry, but if I can write a hit song, then royalties can accumulate.
Throughout the years, while I haven’t been able to connect with anyone in the music publishing business, I have been able to do short tours with my father and his friend, at three different original music festivals, including the big one at Key Largo. My father would play the guitar, his friend the bass, and I would play the tambourine, because I don’t have confidence in my actual voice although I would sometimes sing at these festivals. I have also self-published a great number of books with my lyrics and poetry. I also co-wrote a song that was played at the end of the Golf Challenge Series, our biggest fundraising event of the year, which was the Grand Finale in 2016, hosted by Els for Autism®.
Here are a few tips and tricks that have to do with my experience as a writer.
1. There are many avenues to express yourself. Certain ideas, or thoughts and opinions may fit more in a comic book, or maybe a novel, or a novella. For example, if you are able to draw better than being a writer, maybe express yourself in a comic book or comic strip.
- Brevity is the soul of wit, but verbosity is the soul of exposition. While there are moments where one should be brief, do not let details slide from crafting the perfect picture.
- From my perspective, one doesn’t have to play an instrument to come up with songs, one can come up with lyrics and try to sing it in a melody and voila, there’s a song!
- I am terrible at handwriting, but I am very proficient at typing on word processors. In this time and day, you don’t need to stick to pen or pencil and paper to get your ideas out.
I hope that you can enjoy writing in the same way that I do. It is a very powerful tool. I cannot write novels, novellas, or screenplays, but I can write poetry and lyrics. Maybe you, the reader, can do it too.
For a look at my materials and books, please visit www.MerrickEgber.com