Taylor Swift has revealed one of the secrets behind her songwriting process, saying how she classifies her lyrics into one of the pen’s three “dumb” thematic categories.
During her acceptance speech after winning the NSAI Artist-Songwriter of the Decade Award, Swift said that “I’ve never talked about this publicly because, well, it’s silly. But I’ve secretly established genre categories for the lyrics that I write. They are affectionately titled Pen Letters, Fountain Pen Letters, and Glitter Gel Pen Letters.”
He continued, “This seems confusing, but I came up with these categories based on what writing instrument I imagined I was holding when I was scribbling it. I don’t have a pen. Not anymore. I broke it when I got mad.”
Swift went on to describe the differences between each category, with lyrics from “Quill” featuring “words and phrases (that) are old-fashioned, whether I was inspired to write them after reading Charlotte Brontë or after seeing a movie that everyone wears poet shirts and corsets. If my lyrics sound like a letter written by Emily Dickinson’s great-grandmother while she was sewing a lace curtain, then I’m writing in the Quill genre,” she explained before quoting “Ivy” from “Evermore.” .
Pen handwriting, according to Swift, is the most common. It means “a modern plot or reference with a poetic twist. Take a common phrase and turn its meaning on its head,” Swift said. “Trying to paint a vivid picture of a situation, right down to the chipped paint on the door frame and the incense dust on the vinyl shelf. Putting yourself and your listener in the room where it all happened. Love, loss, everything. The songs I classify in this style sound like scribbled confessions sealed in an envelope, but too brutally honest to send.”
“The third category is Glitter Gel Pen and it lives up to its name,” Swift continued. “Frisky, carefree, bouncy, perfectly syncopated to the beat. Glitter Gel Pen lyrics don’t care if you don’t take them seriously because they don’t take themselves seriously. Glitter Gel Pen lyrics is the drunk girl at the party who tells you that you look like an angel in the bathroom. It’s what we need from time to time in these difficult times, “he added before explaining how “Shake It Off” falls into this category.
Swift went on to say that she organizes her lyrics like this “because I love doing this thing that I’m lucky enough to call work. Writing songs is my life’s work and my hobby and my never-ending excitement.”
Taylor Swift recently revealed the full tracklist for her upcoming album ‘Midnights’, which will include a collaboration with Lana Del Rey on the song ‘Snow On The Beach’.
Elsewhere, Swift has opened up about her new song “Anti-Hero” and how it delves into her deepest insecurities.
‘Midnights’ is due out on October 21 and was announced by Swift while picking up Video of the Year at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards in August.
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Taylor Swift organizes her lyrics into three “dumb” pen-themed categories
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