Writing is a lot like singing. No, really.

It’s true, writing is a lot like singing, especially when you improvise.

At first it’s a scary prospect, this idea of leaving the notes behind to create something of your own. But after a while you realise that there’s nothing really stopping you.

There are parameters that it’s wise not to ignore, but even within these boundaries there is so much you can do (or so little, which is often just as good an idea).

Why I am telling you this?

Because in my spare time I sing jazz, mostly in a duo or trio but sometimes with a big band, and there is nothing more liberating than hearing yourself float over a song. It’s risky but exhilarating and I realise that it’s the same feeling that I sometimes get when I’m writing.

Of course if I was to listen back to what I was singing there would definitely be moments when I would cringe, just as when I reread something I’ve written I often wonder what possessed me to write a particular sentence or use a particular word.

But hey, without the risk and the bad bits there wouldn’t be the sentences or phrases that make me realise how much I enjoy doing this, despite the torture it can sometimes be.

So next time you break into song take a moment to reflect on the joyous process that is creating a sound all of your own.



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