Tuesday, May 31, 2011
5 Writing Lessons from Steven Tyler
Considering the recent American Idol finale I thought it might be fun to see what lessons we writers can take from the one and only, best-thing-about-Idol-this-season, Mr. Demon of Screamin' himself, Steven Tyler. Besides just "be amazing" and "be charming", I mean.
1. Be yourself. I think this is a lesson you can take from any successful artist, or anyone worth learning from. If that means crazy, wacky like Steven Tyler, that's what it means. People love the crazy wacky, and it comes with charm, hilarity and memorability. Write the best from you, and you'll find lots of people who love it.
2. Make yourself iconic. Scarfs on the mic, long shaggy hair, crazy high notes and a crazy big mouth. You know thats Steven Tyler. Ok, so its a bit easier to do that kind of thing as a rock star than it is as a writer, but we can still find ways to make ourselves and our writing stick out in peoples minds, find ways to remind them of us and make ourselves easier to remember. We don't have mics to put scarfs on, but we have pages to put words on. And they're our words. We can make our characters iconic, too. I mean, who doesn't know who I'm talking about when I say lightning scar?
3. Be prolific. Aerosmith is one of the most prolific bands ever. They've kept going and going, putting new stuff out there and reaching out to a continually growing audience. In literaria, this is like Stephen King. The more (good work) you put out there, the more people you can reach.
4. Don't lose "it". The video below proves Steven Tyler hasn't. Keep writing, don't let yourself slack. Teach yourself new things, read as many of the good books on writing as you can get. Try new genres, stretch yourself. Try to be as "on" as Steven Tyler is when you're his age.
5. Take chances and opportunities. Aerosmith took chances with their music, and it worked. Take chances in your writing, and see where it takes you. Steven Tyler didn't have to join American Idol, and maybe got some flack for doing it, but taking that opportunity has brought him and his music to a whole new generation of music listeners. (Considering who the two finalists were, I'd say the majority of Idol watchers are in the Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber group of people, but bringing in Steven Tyler at least brought in some real music. Sorry, obviously I disagree with the results of this season. *cough* shoulda been Casey and James *cough*)
Anyway, here's the video. Man has he still got it.
Happy groupie-ing! Er,...writing.