Follow The Voice

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Red Rocks

Last week, I saw Sting perform at Red Rocks with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It was a gorgeous, clear night and the music was beautiful. Bats buzzed our heads as they flew around the amphitheater. Altogether, a truly unique experience.

When he introduced his song “Tomorrow We’ll See“, Sting explained his process of writing music. First he writes the song (the construct) and then he adds the lyrics (the story). He wrote the construct for “Tomorrow We’ll See” and went for a walk while listening to it on his iPod. As he listened, he got a voice in his head, which started telling him the story. Turns out it was the voice of a transvestite prostitute. Something he hadn’t expected. He tried to dismiss the voice and find another, but the story persisted. In the end, he didn’t fight the voice but instead let the story be told.

He concluded by saying that as a song writer, his job is to follow the voice that comes to him and to do justice to the story being told.

I turned to my husband and said, “It’s the same for any kind of writing.”

My guess is it’s the same for most, if not all, creative endeavors. You get an idea or vision and you see it through, not judging it, but allowing it to become what it wants to become.

Do you find this to be true in your experience as well?


5 thoughts on “Follow The Voice

    annie q. syed said:
    June 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

    yes, very true for me.
    thank you for this timely post.


      Amy K. Nichols said:
      June 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

      You’re welcome, Annie! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Annie Q. Syed, Amy K. Nichols. Amy K. Nichols said: New blog post: Follow The Voice #amwriting, #art #creativity #writing […]

    Lisa Nowak said:
    June 17, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Definitely. When you try to fight it, the story suffers.

      Amy K. Nichols said:
      June 17, 2010 at 10:13 am

      I completely agree! Sting said the same when he talked about writing this song; that whatever he tried to substitute wouldn’t work, and finally the original voice said “don’t judge me, you could be me in another set of circumstances”, which ended up being the chorus of the song. Kind of a cool story, and lesson for writers.

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