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?