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A Songwriter's Perspective

Quotes from Bill Payne

"To do creative work, all writers need imagination, intuition, discipline, and facility. These are the tools of your craft. How do you acquire these tools? Through practice; through study; through failure. You lay yourself right out there for others to accept or reject."

"My approach to lyrics and poetry is informal. Regardless, it has not stopped me from putting my experiences, real or imagined, into word pictures. The destination of intent is what I love about writing. What are you trying to stimulate in the reader? Is your purpose to give as clear and unambiguous a statement as possible, or is the desired effect to encourage and challenge readers to become greater participants by wording things in such a way that their interpretive skills are brought more fully into play, or a combination of the two approaches? This is the alchemy of writing—the power and flexibility of words."

"The weight of words and their importance are in abundant evidence in poetry, creating a music in the way the words fall upon our ears (the cadence), and painting images in our mind supplemented from experiences drawn from our lives. Our understanding of poetry often reveals itself much later; we are simply drawn into the flow of words, attaching meaning where we can. The intimate act between writer and reader is the bestowed gift of shared response. Add music and melody to the music of poetry and you have lyrics."



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