Telling Stories

August 27, 2014 11:06 pm Published by 3 Comments

The thing I love the most about songwriting is how you can translate a story from real life into a melody that resonates with people. I’m in the process of writing songs for the new record, and I’ve been thinking a lot about storytelling lately. IMG_0560

My son, Ryan, reminds me that we are all storytellers, even from a young age. He has started telling us his “stories,” and they are so unique and hilarious. For example,

“Once upon a time [all of his stories begin like this] there was a scary tiger–ROAR!–so I picked him up in my excavator and carried him away to the building site!”

That’s it. Short and simple, but it gets the point across. I tend to write songs based on the stories that I’m living through or things that are on my heart. I did this with “He’s My Son”, “Everything to Me” (my song about adoption), “Letters from War,” and so many others. Ryan tells stories about the things that are on his heart (most notably tigers and construction sites). When I listen to my son I’m reminded how vital this gift of storytelling is to all people. As a songwriter, I’m fortunate enough to do it for a living, but everyone has stories to tell. What are the stories your kids are telling you? What about your spouse or another family member? I encourage you to write them down and share them and see how the stories in your life have made you who you are. And, is there a story that you’re living right now that could be changed in order to have a better ending? How does your story fit into the larger story of what God is doing in the world?

Just some things I’m thinking about as I write and try to translate stories into songs…

Enjoy your story.

Mark

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