Musicians and creatives often work ‘regular’ jobs before they make it big. Whether they’re doing time at a college essay writing service, working as a janitor like Kurt Cobain, or in an abattoir as Ozzy Osbourne did, everyone has got to find a way to pay the bills and fund the rock ‘n’ roll dream.
Songwriting and essay writing are two things you might find rather disparate and unrelated. Well, all types of writing are linked, and certain essay writing skills are actually rather deft ways of producing lyrics and ideas for songs.
Here are several examples of how essay writing skills can actually help with the songwriting process and practice. We’ll discuss what makes a good essay writer, and how this skill can factor into the musical stylings of any artist.
Free thinking and association
Coming up with a good essay thesis requires a thoughtful mind. Being able to read literature, be engaged in seminars, and understand the mechanisms of essay structures is one thing, but adding that extra spark to an essay requires some novel thinking.
By being able to process large amounts of diverse information into coherent theses, essay writers are mimicking the songwriting structure. Songwriters need awareness of norms and cliches. They listen widely, meaning they sample many different sorts of music to add their own touch to the milieu.
Following that pattern of structured creativity is essential to producing quality work, because quality is often a by-product of quantity; that is to say, producing lots of work helps to produce better work. Or even more succinctly, practice makes perfect. Writing music, as with writing prose or essays, should be a daily occurrence.
Communication is education
They say that the marker of whether you truly know something is whether you can teach it. Well, essays are indicative of teaching, and there is a circularity to education. You read essays to learn, and you write essays to convey your learning. That’s the proof of ability in a nutshell.
The Manual is a book by the Timelords, also known as the KLF. These two anarchistic artist-activists wrote the Manual on how to write a hit song. In the book, they detail, with a healthy dose of sarcasm and irony, what it is that makes for a number one hit.
Reading makes you a better songwriter
Another common adage is that good readers make good writers. Though it doesn’t specify which kind of writer. To tease out this strategy, consider the following; essays require hefty amounts of reading. Songs often contain literary and sociological analysis.
Therefore, reading expands your worldview and creates new insights that can be forged into lyrics. Simple song lyrics often penetrate deeper than complex analysis, but they can have the same argument. Music without lyrics generally doesn’t move people as much, although dancing can still be considered a radical and revolutionary act.
Building on simple structures
Even the most insanely complex and thrilling songs start life as a couple of chords. That’s how essay writing works as well; you get down a few notes and phrases that get slung into a standard structure and then iterations and iterations turn the skeleton into a fully fleshed-out piece of work.
That iterative process is essential to songwriting, as lyrics can come from the sub- or conscious parts of our minds. When they make it into the conscious part of ourselves, we can hang onto them and start to craft them into something more. The original power of the subconscious must be retained, as with a novel idea for an essay, but it can be improved by sharing this idea, getting it down on paper, and looking at it in the light of day.
Feedback is key
By feedback we mean not the ear-splitting feedback caused by the misalignment of inputs and outputs on stage, but the one of your peers. Sharing something allows others to have their input, and the extra pair, or pairs, of eyes and ears will help to hone the raw source material into a piece of breathtaking quality. Just by sharing ideas, you might get a great piece of advice or you could see weakness in the idea yourself – things often sound different when spoken aloud.
Hopefully, these five examples of the similarities between essay and songwriting will help you to create gorgeous and catchy lyrics. The main theme is a continuity of the creative process, no matter what medium is being used. Sharing, practicing, and persevering are the key qualities to keep in mind.
About the author: Amanda Dudley is a writer, lecturer, and educator. She gained her Ph.D. in History from Stanford in 2001, and she currently lectures on American and World History. In addition to her lecturing duties, Amanda helps create learning strategies for students with learning issues, as well as contributes her sharp eye to essay creation at EssayUSA.