Spring and early summer mean different song and lyric competitions are again opening their doors to a new season. You’ve heard me talk about competitions many times on this page, sometimes in a positive way for the phenomenon and sometimes against it. Still, there is no getting away from the fact that as an unsigned lyric writer, competitions are a good way of finding out where your material stands in the greater scheme of things. It is also one way of telling the outskirts of the music world, that you exist.
I hadn’t planned to take part in any competitions this year, because I was tired of repeating a similar kind of half-success year after year, or sometimes even failing in doing so. I haven’t always been strong enough to face the fact that my lyrical skills are at a standstill. Then I remembered some wise words I had read somewhere. “Only a fool repeats the same behaviour pattern time and time again and expects a different result.” It may not be the exact saying, but near enough. After taking a long, hard look at myself in the mirror, I had to accept that I was looking at one of those fools. I’d never really tried to change my way of writing since starting on this journey. I had obviously changed what I wrote about, and I had written in different tempos, but I had never, ever taken in and accepted how much graft it takes to get a really good end product. Instead I had winged it and hung up my whole future in this business on that one ounce of talent that lives inside me.
I have one explanation for some of this, which is not an excuse. Quite often lyrics just appears inside me. They are ready, word by word and all I need to do is jot them down. I have no idea where they come from, they just appear. Because of this, I’ve been almost afraid to “mess” with them. I’ve been thinking that whatever they are, good or bad, it must be meant for them to stay just as they arrived. It has taken until this year, before I’ve been able to shake off this fear. Now I’ve started to look at these lyrics as a blue print, a frame or a skeleton. They are a platform on which to build with whatever I now learn from people that have been successful lyric writers for years and are willing to share their experiences.
There won’t be enough time for me to get a lot of new and hopefully strong material for this season of competitions, but I have already entered one into http://www.songwritingcontest.co.uk/ and http://www.lyricistoftheyear.com/. This year you can enter your songs and lyrics to more than one competition simultaneously, without it costing you anymore, which is brilliant. Take a look at this new website https://submitmysong.com/ to learn more if you are thinking about entering competitions.
In one of last week’s blogs, “Keep it simple”, I have already shown you parts of the song lyric I now have entered into the competitions. Again, it’s not mine to judge whether the finished product is good or bad, but I have attempted to adapt a few things in the lyric from what I have learned during the last few months;
– It talks about one specific experience
– I give my story a start, middle and an end
– I’ve tried to put enough meat on the bones of my story, so that the listener can feel and engage with the excitement the young woman is feeling on this particular day
– I write about that one single day, but also allow the listener to imagine how the future for these two will turn out
– I’ve added a bridge to expand what I wanted to say with these lyrics.
Whether I have succeeded in my attempts remains to be seen, but I feel I have started a new learning curve. To keep my promise from last week, I will leave you with my newest lyric and competition entry, “Destiny calling”.
Take care until next time and Happy Writing!
It was the 16th of June -91
The day when destiny knocked on my door.
The Crystal ball in my gut warned for clouds,
my need to meet you meant so, so much more.
I wore a mint coloured top and worn jeans.
I grabbed my camera, note pad and pen.
The breeze felt warm, in my highlighted hair.
I was so happy that day, way back then.
You were tall, dark and handsome.
It was love at first sight.
You were twice as old as me.
Could be wrong but felt so right!
I felt destiny calling,
when I met you that night.
Yes, it was destiny calling that night!…
I drove home knowing everything had changed.
Still alone in the car, but not in my heart.
A signed record by my side, promised more,
a new life, bigger views, a fresh start.
When destiny’s calling
Don’t say no, go with the flow.
It’s your soul’s way of saying;
Here’s a truth you need to know.
When destiny’s calling, don’t say no!
©2018 Åsa Sandberg