Sarah: Writing about writing

January 22, 2008

Why do I write? I write to relax, unwind and de-frag the day. Writing soothes me, and when things are on the page, they’re out of my head and I don’t have to worry about them! Sometimes, I speed write. I’ll literally set a 5 minute timer and just go for it. I won’t think much about what I’m writing, I just make sure the pen keeps moving on the page. Quite often, I end up with some tasty lyrics from this approach – ‘with shaking hands and twitching face’ from Home, is one example.

What do I write about? Most of my lyrics aren’t really about any particular thing – they are more groups of words that give a flavour of something; a person, a feeling, a need or whatever. I wouldn’t ever profess to set out to write deep and meaningful lyrics. Sometimes, when Matt sends tracks up to me to work on, I listen to the tune and certain shapes and rhythms of words just seem to fit. It’s all a bit of a mish-mash. I mostly write from instinct and for pure pleasure. I wrote a couple of tracks on Fifty Three Degrees North that were specifically about people in my life. I have to be really moved (or pissed off) by someone for this to happen! I suppose it’s inevitable that you end up writing about your own life and relationships that effect you.
Someone at a gig of ours once said that my lyrics were ‘too personal’ for electro-pop, which is interesting. I think for the new tracks that I’m writing, I’m going to experiment with this and write some de-humanised, robotic lyrics in response. But, then even that will be personal, because it’s still about my emotional response to something – I guess there’s just no pleasing some people!

Who do I write for? Myself. With maybe a glimmer of hope that someone, somewhere might be moved, inspired or entertained by the words I’m singing.