Week 1 of Pattisonification

So, week 1 of the Pat Pattison songwriting course went just like I’d hoped.

Everything so far is review for me, except for all of the new stuff I’m learning :-).

Pat’s teaching style makes it possible to listen to the “same lectures” over and over again, and, every time I do that, I hear a little nugget that I didn’t get before.

The course description undersold the value of Pat’s lessons, giving the impression that this is a course for beginners.  If so, why is there a thread for pro’s in the main forum? :-).

News to me: I’d heard the boxes lecture before, but, it hadn’t sunk in just how many dimensions could be used to cleave a story into its boxes that gain weight, e.g. passage of time (obvious), point of view (wasn’t so obvious to me).

I just plum enjoyed the listening quizzes.  Zero in on only one aspect of each song and hearing the rest of the song in the background.

Being an Engineer, I immediately figured out how to save some re-work on the quizzes.  When I didn’t achieve 100%, I simply jotted down the answers that I got “right” and tried again.  

Later, it dawned on me that the point of the exercises is to work new pathways into one’s brain.  So, instead of optimizing (aka cheating), I forced myself to re-answer every question afresh, when I did a retry.  

Oopsie – my perfect answers were not the same on each go-around.  An interesting revelation in itself – either I need to learn the lesson more deeply, or I need to remember to have multiple looks at different times, when I’m writing a song.

I avoided the “peer review” assignment for quite a while.  None of the suggested titles did anything for me, and my own pool of creativity was a desert.

Then, it dawned on me that the events in my life that were keeping me from being creative, were in themselves little stories waiting to be mined.

I settled on one storyline, then tried to come up with a suitable, home-brewed title.  None of those titles seemed to boxify well.

Then, “The Other Side of Goodbye” snapped into focus.  The storyline I had in mind could be couched as a bunch (e.g. 3) of little goodbye’s, each with a yin and yang to them.

The answers to the 3 peer review questions suddenly became “obvious”.  

Each yin/yang goodbye gets a box.

Yet, a day later, I noticed a refinement I should make – one event I relegated to box 2 really belonged to be associated with the thoughts in box 3.

Box 2 became simpler, less cluttered.

Box 3 became bigger (more lines of description) than box 2.

That’s OK – no rules, just tools.

I think this might lead to a bridge before the final verse – cleave one of the ideas from box 3, make it a bridge that falls into the finale.  We’ll see.  

[We’ll also see what the peers reviewing it think – :angst: – :-].

Peeking ahead (aka cheating), the bridge (pre-verse?) is going to have to be “unstable”, if I go there at all.

Regardless of where the course takes me, I’m going to finish this song.  The prep work and idea-filleting is just too good to waste.  I’ve been copy-pasting my answers (plus questions) into a Word doc so that I can review in them in the future when I’m feeling uninspired.  

And I’m keeping a copy of the downloaded videos, mine to keep until bit-rot sets in.

I wonder if refrigeration will help?


2 responses to “Week 1 of Pattisonification

  1. Pattisonification… haha, I like that. Very funny. Hey, you’ve chosen a good clean WordPress theme… I’m using Canvas myself, because it’s so responsive for Android cellphones, iOS devices and the like and we have to cater to the mobile devices these days, not those antique desktops. The times they are a-changin’….

    Here’s your best line “the events in my life that were keeping me from being creative, were in themselves little stories waiting to be mined”.
    Shorten it and it’s ma chorus.

    Here’s your second best line… “Everything so far is review for me, except for all of the new stuff I’m learning” I know exactly how you feel!

    My two cents!

  2. I didn’t know we could download the videos! I’ll have to look into that! Thanks again! By the way, when you re-take the quiz, the answers to the questions change their order so you really do have to read them again – tricked me once! Good luck with the song.

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