Jack Blanchard Column: Songs By Accident



I get encouraging letters from people who say nice things about my writings…

my songs, articles, and stories.

It’s a real incentive to write more.

Most of my writing seems to me to be by accident.

By that I mean:

I have never planned or plotted a story or song in my life.

I don’t know how.

I usually let my mind wander into a situation, real or imaginary,

and the pictures unfold in front of me.

I just take down what happens, as it happens.

I don’t know what the ending will be until it ends.

I’m as surprised as everybody else.

I seldom know the title of a song until the rest of it is done.

I often have a temporary working title but it’s usually replaced

and demoted to a line somewhere in the piece.

Any craftsmanship I may have comes later,

when I go in and edit the whole thing,

trying to get rid of all phrases that don’t add to the story,

and replacing words that are almost right

with ones that are closer to right.

I don’t like fill-in lines. I’d rather have it short.

Or, maybe a better word is “tight”.

In school sports I was a good sprinter but not good in any race over 100 yards.

I did alright in football, baseball, and hockey because the action is in spurts.

My writing limitations are the same… short bursts.

I like composing song lyrics. because they’re miniatures,

like little pieces of jewelry.

Working out the music part is fun

because the secret of music is surprises.

The music can come first, last, or along with the words.

No formula works for me all the time.

I’m telling you this because people are often interested in how writers work.

I know I am.

I would write even if I never got paid…

which is somewhat true.

Copr. Jack Blanchard


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