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Songwriting
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Scribing Your Own Story

Amanda Lindsey Cook

0:33:23 · Songwriting

Amanda will share the practices and practicalities of her own journey in songwriting and empower you with simple tools to scribe your own story

Digging Deeper

  • Prayer brings us into divine communion with the Lord.
  • “Music is so sneaky. We can talk about something till we’re blue in the face, but then we hear a song and suddenly get it.”
  • Amanda uses Ben Hastings songwriting as an example of honest writing. He writes songs like “So Will I” and “Peace”, which are so poetic and vast and dig deeper into the truth and beauty of God.
  • “You can tell when a song has been lived.” And even when a song hasn’t been lived, so many are still prophetic in their nature. 
  • The more intimacy we grow in with God, the more our theology will change and develop.
  • Sometimes when we yell at fear, we’re really just trying to convince ourselves that we’re not afraid. Fear isn’t necessarily the enemy, but it can lead  to things that embody shame.

“You Make Me Brave”

  • For Amanda, fear has become less of an enemy and more a teacher. Whatever we’re afraid of practically, will determine the boundaries of our lives. 
  • Amanda shares her journey with fear.
  • “Fear is not to be feared, but it’s a human experience of being finite.” We’re coming into our humanity, while also recognizing the ability to lean into the divine nature of God. 
  • “I’m settling into more of the ‘fear of the Lord’, which is like a holy intensity and respect and reverence for the fact that there's a divine being that holds everything together.”
  • “Every breath that I breathe is borrowed, every breath that I breathe is intentional”. 
  • Amanda shares how she use to think that bravery was loud and aggressive. But sometimes the strongest of bravery is quiet and gentle.
  • “Song writing to me is always a mysterious experience, no matter how I focus on or approach the craft.” 
  • We’re created to constantly be wow’d by God. Wonder and mystery are apart of His nature and with that, He’s created in us a constant longing for it.

Embracing The Journey

  • Are you trying to impress God with your theology? What does it look like to be true and honest wherever you’re at in your life, and show it in your writings. 
  • Jesus waited until he was 30 to start his ministry, and I believe a lot of that was because he wanted to grow in experience first. 
  • Exploring God and exploring music are both infinite things to explore. 
  • “God delights in beautiful things, and when we read the creating story, the way he was blessing what he had created, it didn’t feel like a means to an end. It felt like he was embracing everything as it came.”
  • There’s something that switches when we rest in the beauty of a note and sound, rather than being agenda driven when approaching our craft. This helps us grow in our fascination and wonder.

“Starting With The One”

  • Amanda shares how, as artists, we have a noble calling and responsibility to describe what we see and feel. 
  • We get caught up in scarcity, thinking we have to flower our language or rhyme it more or make it sound more intellectual. But a simple phrase like “I love you” embraces your cost and has the most authority on your life.”
  • Amanda mentions a conversation she had with John Paul - He told her, “Go back to the one.” He broke it down into a musical analogy about scales. “You know how every scale has a one in it? When you don’t know what to do or what to sing, just play one note until it moves you. Let it create a moment in you rather than you creating the moment.”
  • So often, we come at music with this dominance, but really, what would happen if we let music move us. 
  • Amanda creates emphasis on starting somewhere simple, even if it’s just one note, and then allowing a moment to authentically build off of it, in it’s own timing, rather than yours. Don’t move away from it until you feel it building and creating a moment in you. “It can feel a little self indulgent, but it’s necessary.”
  • Melodies usually write themselves over the “one”. 
  • It’s important to not overthink the moment and trust that when it does come, it’ll be too big to miss. 
  • “Maybe you were always a writer, but just didn’t know it. Maybe you’ve always been writing, but just didn’t know it. It’s time to let your song out.” 
  • It’s important to land into a place of resonance, to come into a moment that can just unravel you.