How Jeff Tweedy’s Dad Wrote One Poem… and then Another

writing poem

In his brilliant book How to Write One Song, Jeff Tweedy tells a story about his Dad who would go to the basement when he was sad or mad, drink a beer or two, and write a poem.

Jeff Tweedy writes lyrics and music for a living. He’s the founder and leader of the band Wilco.

But his dad was a high school dropout. A railroad worker. A guy who didn’t keep books around the house.

Dad was also a guy who wrote poems.

One of the book’s lessons: You don’t have to think of yourself as a “poet” to write one poem…

…and then another.

Tweedy imagines his dad wrote lines in his head at work and brought them home.

“What’s more curious,” Tweedy writes, “is how he gave himself permission to do it. I think a lot of people write poems in their heads but don’t give themselves permission to write them down or share them.”

Sure, the beers may have offered some liquid courage.

“But when he first sat down to write—it was always straight after work—he was sober as a judge and riding a wave of pure inspiration.” Tweedy says.

And then Tweedy adds this: “I want to be a person who encourages more humans to do that—to have some private moments of creativity, whether they share their creations or not.”

So do I!

I love that story, and I love Tweedy’s book.

And I recommended to Ted Prodromou that we read it in the Mastermind Book Club because I want to encourage more people to:

  • Understand you don’t have to be a writer to sit down and write.
  • Give yourself permission to create and share your creations.
  • Ride waves of inspiration. They’ll wash over you if you let them.

The book is about all that and so much more. Sure, it’s a “songwriting” book. But really it’s a book about creating. It’s a book about mindset. It’s a book about finding inspiration and letting inspiration find you. It’s a book about habits and tools you can use to create one thing…

…and then another.

And, good news: It’s a very short book so you still have time to read it (or listen to it) before this Thursday’s Mastermind Book Club meeting when we’ll discuss it.

You’re invited.

Every month, Ted and I choose a book for members to discuss. You don’t have to read it to join the discussion. We have an online community where members share insights.

Then we meet live on Zoom on the 4th Thursday of the month (Aug 24, 2:30 p.m. ET this month).

The idea: Share insights and discuss how to implement ideas from the book to advance our businesses and lives.

Remember: You don’t have to read the book to benefit from the conversation. But if you can read the book and then join us, you’ll get more out of it.

This book is short. Three hours on audio (read by the author; I recommend this version). 176 pages in the print version.

The Club and the live event are free to join. Click the button below to join us (Club members receive email notices with the Zoom link)…

Don't go away yet..

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.