I’ve always struggled with verbal communication. I’ve been a mumbler for as long as I can remember which can often be frustrating for others.
My body language often throws people off too. I can often look grumpy or sad when I’m just tired or day dreaming.
I’m not sure how it started but I’ve always loved to write even though my handwriting is terrible. I must have realised early on that I communicate much clearer when I write.
Everyone desires to be heard and understood. Art in all its forms is essentially communication.
I discovered a love for poetry when I was in primary school. I realised I was good at it, same goes for music. I found something that I could do and enjoy. Growing up learning about all the things I couldn’t do from a young age, it was wonderful to discover what I could do and express myself doing it. Music and writing was a way for me to break the glass. I felt more like I was participating in the world rather than just watching passively.
It wasn’t until my teens that I thought to put my love of writing poetry and music together. I think I just put it in the too hard basket for a long time. I was a young adult before I was writing regularly and had done some study. I was terrified to show anyone my work before I studied songwriting because I thought I sucked. My songs had potential but they needed refining. My music theory knowledge was lacking too. So I was no child prodigy.
Matching musical tone and melody to my feelings is a powerful tool. Music bypasses the brain and goes straight to the heart. I have trouble talking about emotional things, but give me a microphone and I’ll sing them.
When I write a song I’ll normally start with lyrics first. That is just how I work. I need a story to base my melody and chord structure on. What is my story? What am I trying to say? What is my point? What I love about songwriting is that there doesn’t need to be a definitive answer to questions or a clear conclusion. I can end in the song in the middle of the story if I like and allow the listener to come to their own conclusion.
Once my lyrics are complete I can come up with a melody fairly quickly. I played flute and have been singing for years so melodies are fun and often the easiest part for me. Chord progressions are more the struggle for me.
Writing helps me to organise my thoughts. I can reign them in. If I’m reliant on speaking I can often be a bumbling mess and make next to no sense. This is my best communication tool.
Ideally writing is my go to when I’m stressed or anxious about something. Writing allows me to get past the panic and find the story. In a perfect world I would never resort to meltdowns, but the anxiety must manifest itself one way or another. Meltdown is a form of communication but it is often much harder for others to understand. Art however makes communication much clearer and is also an emotional outlet. It’s the best kind of therapy in my opinion.
You may like to paint, dance or make films, we all have a creative self. Don’t be afraid to use art to find your story, to help you communicate. You may scream your lungs out yet feel like no one hears you – so write, sing, play, paint dance or film it. Create to communicate, trust me you’ll feel better.
Part of being a writer is dealing with writer’s block. So thankyou to Felisha on Facebook for this blog topic suggestion. Please feel free to suggest ideas for me to blog about. You can suggest ideas on my Facebook page, on Twitter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .