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Songwriting
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Writing from Your Experience

Jason Vallotton

01:01:56 · Songwriting

Jason shares how writing has helped him channel pain and walk through hardship. He points out the valuable role that our emotions and story play in writing, and how writing according to the season you're in produces honest songs. He helps guide past writer's block and inspires freedom of expression.

Writing from Your Experience - Jason Vallotton

There is creativity inside our emotions.
  • Jason went through a divorce in 2008.
  • He used his guitar to help channel his pain during this time.
  • Waking up in the night with poetry going through his head.
  • The emotion does not have to be pain, but emotional times can pull out a writing gift.
  • If you can release creativity in your life, you can access far more than you think.
  • Several writing essentials:
Recording device:
  • Lets you capture melodies or words you get in unexpected times.
  • Most good songs are written in pieces which are caught at different moments.

    Writing device:
  • Pen & paper, computer, etc. Songwriting ideas come & go quickly.
  • Allows you to revisit ideas easily and collaborate more efficiently with others.
  • Instrument or Voice. A way to present your ideas.

    Creativity:
  • Can you feel your idea when your song is played on guitar?

    Emotion:
  • Causes a creative flow.
  • Great songs are usually the result of emotion, creativity, and piecing together different ideas.
Being connected to your emotions awakens your songwriting process.
  • Look for emotion when you are writing with someone else.
  • Learn how to tap into your emotions.
When preaching:
  • Ask; God what is your heart for the people?
When songwriting:
  • Let what you write match your emotions.
  • Write about the season you are in.
  • This produces honest songs.
Where do our emotions come from?
  • Science has proven that thoughts create emotion.
  • Identify the thought you had right before you felt an emotion.
  • Emotions aren’t bad or good, they are indicators.
  • Grasp the moment you are in & convey this to your listeners in a way they can feel.
The music of what you write should match the words you write.
  • We can learn from people who are better than us.
  • E.g. Adele writes from her emotions, although they are intense, she is a masterful writer.
  • E.g. Ray LaMontagne - by the end of his songs, you know what happened to him.
  • There are countless ways to say the same thing.
Say something creatively rather than plainly.
  • Take your time.
  • Be aware of writing too generally or using cliches.
  • Express your thoughts in a way that paints a picture.
  • Songwriting is like writing a love letter.
How would you want someone to express their thoughts, heart, and emotions to you?
  • Write towards something with intention (a person, a story, an event).
  • Your listeners should feel what you are feeling.
  • Give yourself permission to write whatever comes out of you.
Writing is a commentary on a moment, not a commentary on who you are.
  • Letting yourself be completely honest can free you from writer’s block.
Do the following creative exercise:
  • Look at a painting while listening to a song.
  • Then, give a story to the painting based on what you heard.
  • We often battle with letting ourselves write from raw emotion because it feels vulnerable.
If you can write a poem, you can write a song.
  • Listen to “Holocene” by Bon Iver and write freely about whatever comes to you.
  • You won’t ever really know what you think about something if you block honesty.
  • Don’t be inhibited by what others might think of you.
  • When you feel momentum from a song, an artist, etc., use it to facilitate your creativity.