Writing From Songs; Another Type Of Writing Warm-Up

Ideas can strike at the strangest places… at the grocery store, park, or even page 167 of your math textbook.  That’s what happened to me the other day.  (I have to admit, I can sometimes be rather absentminded when I should be doing my schoolwork!) I was sitting there at the kitchen counter, math book and pencil in hand, when the idea struck of writing stories based off of songs. 

I think right now I’ll demonstrate by doing; the story below is inspired by part of the song ‘What Now’ by Steven Curtis Chapman (you can listen to the song below).  Below are more ideas for this type of a writing warm-up.  If you want to you can just skip the story and go to the ideas.

Peter stood by a road in a large city in India.  Cars and rickshaws sped by, and everywhere people were talking and shouting.  People sold fish and vegetables by the side of the narrow street, and in a shack with a rusty tin roof a woman sold Naan, an Indian bread, while her son helped mix together the dough and bake it.  Peter looked around and took in the sights of the area around him.  As he looked across the street, he saw a little girl scavenging through the garbage in the alleyway.  Her dress was tattered, and besides that holey shirt she had no other clothes.  She  saw the man across the street from her, and ran up to him.  “Sir, please! Do you have any bread or a Rupee for me?”  He looked down at her skinny arms, her eyes large and pleading, her black hair dirty and matted.  It broke his heart.

“Where are your parents?” he asked.

“I don’t have any.” she said.

The man went to the Naan stand and  bought two big pieces.  He handed them to the girl, along with some of the change that he had had on him.  Then he turned to leave.

As he walked away, saddened be the poor orphan girl, a bible verse came to his head. It was the one where Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.

(see Matthew 25:34-40) https://www.bible.com/bible/114/MAT.25.34-40

Is this how I would treat Jesus?  He thought.  Just buy him some bread, hand him some money, and walk off?  He now knew what he needed to do. 

First, he went and bought a new, clean dress for the girl, and some trousers to wear under it.  He walked back to the little girl, who had now returned to sift through the garbage pile.  “Little girl, what is your name?”

“Asha.” she said shyly 

“Asha, where are you staying?” 

The girl pointed to another alleyway.  A pile of trash and old rags made a bed.  There was nothing else besides more garbage that people had thrown there. 

“Asha, as soon as I find a safe place for you I will come back.  Here are some new clothes for you, and here is enough money to buy your dinner, and your breakfast for tomorrow if I am not back by then.  I will come back as soon as I find a shelter for you to stay at.”

The man quickly walked back to the place he was staying.  He got on his computer and found a shelter for lost or orphaned girls that was not to far from where he was. He then went back to where the little girl had been. He found her, as well as two more orphan children: a boy and a girl. He took them to the shelter.  The two girls stayed there, and the people running the shelter gave him the address to a shelter for boys where the little boy could stay.  He and the boy went to the shelter, where he signed in the boy to stay. 

He went home happy that night and lay in his bed.  He then heard the sudden whisper of the Holy Spirit in his heart.  What now?  it asked.  Then it answered for him.  Help others like them. He smiled.  He excitedly wondered what crazy Jesus adventure he was getting into now, as the sweet, quiet spirit whispered soft instructions for him. 

Well, that is sort of a long story to go with such a short verse in a song!  But you can do that with your writing; completely add new depth to a short verse, add more meaning and magnetism to it, pulling in your readers and giving them a greater understanding of a song, or a new point of view about that song or verse.  You could base your story off of a more serious song such as Fighter, by Jamie Grace or What Now by Steven Curtis Chapman.  Or, you could base it off of a more lighthearted song such as I Am Home  by Francesca Battistelli.

Ways To Use Songs As Part Of A Writing Warm-Up:

  1. Traditional writing warm-up style: Listen to the song. Then set a timer for seven minutes, and write as much as you can of your story based on the song in those seven minutes!  After the timer goes off, set one more timer for three minutes to finish up and/or do any quick spelling or grammar corrections.
  2. Gentle Warm-Up exercise: Listen to the song.  Then, simply begin writing your story based on the song.  No timer needed. You may want to even listen to the song while you are writing. Of course, don’t plagiarize and write down the lyrics to the song!  Just write a story based on the song

Some Songs:

What Now by Steven Curtis Chapman

Fighter by Jamie Grace

I Am Home by Francesca Battistelli

For more free songs, go to www.spotify.com

I hope you liked and learned from this post!  Let me know in the comments section below if you did, and if you have any questions be sure to let me know!  You can let me know in the comments section, or on the Contact Page.

May you know God’s abundant love!


3 thoughts on “Writing From Songs; Another Type Of Writing Warm-Up

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