Pick one of your favorite songs of any genre. Ask yourself: “Why did this singer write this song?” Was there a specific event that triggered the lyricist to write it? Write down your answer and get into the artists’ shoes. While you’re speculating about what gave this person inspiration, look for ways it could inspire you to write something else later on down the line. Investigate inspiration in and of itself, so that you can identify it and find muses hiding around in the cracks and corners of your life. But for right now, you’re writing about this particular artist and this particular event in the form of a poem, short story, brief explanation, poem, or anything of your liking.
For this activity, I responded to the infamously catchy “All Star” by Smash Mouth, the theme song to my childhood. In my imagination, Steve (yes, the leader singer’s name is “Steve” not “Smash Mouth” as some people might call him while throwing bread at him on stage) wrote this after a breakup with a ditzy girlfriend. He’s walking from her her house and sees the watch he wants in the window. He’d been saving up but couldn’t afford it because of his girl running up his credit card. He breaks the glass, puts it in his pocket, and sprints away from the small-town cops. And this, in my mind, was what inspired Steve to write the 90’s epic, “All Star”!
Melanie Falconer is a freelance writer and editor living in Los Angeles, California. Her writing mainly concerns philosophy, personal experiences, cultural commentary, and her love of the visual and performing arts. If you’d like to reach out to her, you can do so here.