Pat's new book, Songwriting without Boundaries: Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice, sets out a series of 14-day challenges constructed to improve both your object writing and your ability to discover and manipulate metaphor.
Writing great song lyrics requires practice and discipline. Songwriting Without Boundaries will help you commit to routine practice through fun writing exercises. This unique collection of more than 150 sense-bound prompts helps you develop the skills you need to:
- tap into your senses and inject your writing with vivid details
- effectively use metaphor and comparative language
- add rhythm to your writing and manage phrasing
Songwriters, as well as writers of other genres, will benefit from this collection of sensory writing challenges. Divided into four sections, Songwriting Without Boundaries features four different fourteen-day challenges with timed writing exercises, along with examples from other songwriters, poets, and prose writers. Contributing writers include multiple Grammy winning songwriter Gillian Welch, professional poet Caroline Harvey, a host of songwriters from the Berklee College of Music faculty, and others.
Includes foreword by professional songwriter Mike Reid ("I Can’t Make You Love Me", performed by Bonnie Raitt)
Not long ago I said to Pat, “Why bother with all this when great lyrics donʼt seem to matter anymore?” “They matter to you, donʼt they?” he shot back. And there it was. For reasons beyond my full understanding I had to confess that they did matter to me. A lot. If they matter to you, then buy this book.
If youʼre of a mind to want to get at the best in you, you hold in your hands, at this moment, a tool of inestimable value. …Faithfully following the principles set down in this book will not only help you ﬁnd the right word but, more importantly, will be a constant companion in the life long journey toward understanding precisely what it is you mean to say.
- Mike Reid, Nashville, TN
Pat Pattison is the writing teacher I've been long praying for and his writing exercises are nothing short of revolutionary. I’m almost embarrassed to say that after over a decade of professional creative writing I don’t think I ever fully understood the function and craft of metaphor until diving in to the writing challenges of Songwriting Without Boundaries. With the elegant flair of a wonderfully mad scientist, Pat pulls the best out of artists and empowers us to make the work we've always wanted to make. The poetry I’ve produced since investing in Pat’s teaching has been some of the liveliest, most powerful, and most published work of my career so far. His smart, inventive, cut-to-the-chase instruction has been the necessary overhaul for my whole creative life; the very core of my writing practice has been revamped and infused with new, lustrous life blood. His books sit open on my desk, dog-eared and well worn.
- Caroline Harvey, professional poet, featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam
In the middle of working on these challenges I left for a writing/recording trip to Mexico to work on my new record...so I sort of had an immediate test of the effect of these exercises…it was pretty amazing…my writing didn't "change" per se - it was still me, working in my normal style...but, everything came faster, and more fluidly…some of the ideas almost seemed to fall-out fully formed…above all, I think that's the magic of this book…it preps your brain to be a better you...
- Bleu, songwriter, Artist/Producer, Los Angeles, CA
I have always found as a teacher that getting certain students to "get" metaphor was difficult; it sort of seemed like one either has the knack or not. But I feel like your approach may be one of the best methods of teaching writers to use figurative language I've encountered; and in fact, it may be the only one. I can't wait to use your book in my classes as well as in my own work.
- Bonnie Hayes, Songwriter, “Have a Heart” for Bonnie Raitt
Pat's step-by-step procedure for discovering metaphor is the most innovative, user-friendly approach I've ever experienced. These daily challenges take the mystery out of how great writing works. I've learned to let go of age-old barriers, explore my own creative spirit and write fearlessly.
- Sarah Brindell, Songwriting faculty, Berklee College of Music
Pat and his challenges have a way of saying "Psst, come here, back behind these familiar words... I wanna show you something..." And from there, an unknown vista comes into focus and changes your perspective forever.
- Rob Giles, Producer/Aritst, The Rescues, Los Angeles, CA
Back when I got my first record deal, I still felt insecure about my writing. Confidence can sometimes be the last thing one achieves. When Pat sent me these challenges, I started to dive in and I couldn't stop! It felt like a healthy drug, the "confidence pill.” The more you do it, the more you want to do. Thank you, Pat. These challenges brought back the focus, the fearlessness and happiness that I sometimes forget to have when I'm writing.
- Adriana Duarte, Recording Artist, Warner Music, Portugal
Before the challenges, I feared metaphor. If one crept into my song I probably wouldn’t have known about it. Pat’s exercises exposed metaphor for what it is – one of the most important and exciting tools a writer can possess. It flicked a switch in my brain, and suddenly I could see metaphors everywhere!
- Chanelle Davis, Recording artist, Melbourne, Australia