Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Advice from a great songwriter

Although I wasn’t familiar with Guy Clark, the singer-songwriter from Nashville who died today at the age of 74, he had some great advice for writers disguised as advice for songwriters. In a 2013 NPR interview with Melissa Block, he said what’s not in the song is as important as what is in the song. “Less is more,” he said. “Don’t clutter up the English language. Leave people with the ability to become part of it.”

Many others artists were influenced by Clark, including Lyle Lovvett, who said Guy’s first record helped tell him what a song could be, should be. Emmylou Harris said Clark embraced the human condition. There was no judgment in his music, everyone is equal – everyone has been on a rough road.

Good advice when writing a song or a story.

Write soon,



  1. You are so right. Hope everything is going well, Mary!

    Critter Alley

  2. Great advice for writers of all stripes!

  3. Sometimes I think I would like to write song lyrics. But do I need any more papers filed under the bed, ha-ha.

    1. Under your bed sounds like under my bed! I wrote one bad country song back in the 90s, and it's in a notebook under my bed!

  4. Mary--That IS great advice for any kind of writing, whether it's music, a novel, a short story, a speech. It's a reminder for all of us (me especially) to declutter.

    Thanks for sharing. If Emmylou Harris admired him, I have to check him out.