Posted August 18, 2020 by Jeff in Books

Jeff Tweedy Debunks Suffering Songwriting Myth

Jeff Tweedy How to Write One Song
Jeff Tweedy How to Write One Song

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy has written songs for a long time. Now, Tweedy, who got his start with alt-country icons Uncle Tupelo, will share some of his secrets.

He’s just announced new book, How to Write One Song, will arrive on Oct. 13 via Duttonand is available for pre-order now. 

How to Write One Song represents the follow-up to Tweedy’s bestselling 2019 memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back). In How to Write One Song, Tweedy has created a candid and fascinating primer on the art form he knows best, revealing both the behind-the-scenes process and the joy he gets from making something new. 

According to a press release about the tome, “The book is conversational and thoughtful — throughout, he offers actionable and practical tips on overcoming self-defeating dialog, building a creative habit, language techniques to get out of a writing comfort zone, easy recording methods, and so much more.” Tweedy goes through the exercises himself and shares how those techniques, along with his persistent creative schedule, have helped him write songs that listeners can fall in love with.

By setting a goal of creating just one song from the ground up, the songwriting project becomes a focused, self-contained event, the mystery and fear subsides, and songwriting becomes an “exciting pursuit.” Tweedy upends the idea that songwriters and writers need to be suffering artists or constantly inspired. Instead, he focuses on the importance of digging deep and finding beauty even when we don’t have the time or the confidence in our ability to do so, and even if what we’re creating is only for ourselves. 

“The feeling I get when I write — the sense that time is simultaneously expanding and disappearing — that I’m simultaneously more me and also free of me — is the main reason I wanted to put my thoughts on songwriting down in book form to share with everyone so inclined,” says Tweedy.