This posting is number 350. I’ve been doing this blog for three years now and it is just as much a puzzlement to me today as it was when I first started back in November 2012. Then, my motivation for doing it was because I had often read that having a blog helps establish your books and your credibility as a legitimate writer. Well, I’m still waiting for my books—all six of them—to become established. As for building credibility as a legitimate writer, I’m not the one to declare that, at least not just yet.

So, why three years later am I still doing this? I think the answer is passion. You cannot write without it. It’s the main ingredient in the recipe. Funny thing is, I always knew this. In fact, only three months into writing this blog, I discussed it and it became, I think, one of the more memorable postings I’ve done. So here it is, back for a repeat performance. It’s the first time I’ve run the same posting twice, but if you hit 350, some encores are appropriate…

Passion, Writing & Taylor Swift

January 9, 2013

TaylorrrrThis is a posting about writing and passion.  It’s the result of a few e-mail exchanges I had this past weekend with a new blogger friend.  She got me thinking.  BTW, all the lyrics included in this blog are excerpts from songs written by Taylor Swift.  What does Taylor Swift have to do with passion and writing?  Well, as my father used to say, hold your hat.

First, right away I will get this over with.  I have to admit it.  I am not ashamed of it.  I am smitten with Taylor Swift.  Yes, I know I am old enough to practically be her grandfather.  No, that does not make me a dirty old man.  I think she is a compelling artist who last year proved at the young and tender age of 22 that passion leads to good writing and good writing is what good song making is all about.

I don’t know about you

But I’m feeling 22

…Everything will be all right

If we just keep dancing like we’re 22

Sure, there are plenty of gimmicky songs, including some of Taylor’s, that top the charts (Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe comes to mind), but they are often one-hit wonders or part of a lucky few that break through the barrier.  Taylor Swift, on the other hand, has a solid track record.  Her prolific collection of self-authored songs speaks—make that sings—volumes about her unique talent.  Among the many awards she has won are six Grammys and eleven American Music Awards.  She has sold over 22 million albums.  For those who prefer e-versions, her songs made up over 51 million digital downloads in the U.S. as of last year.   In 2012 she donated more money to charities than any other performer.

For the past decade while you and I have been doing whatever it was we’ve been doing, Taylor Swift has been sitting alone in her room thinking intimate teenage thoughts based on her teenage experiences—just like most of us did when we were that age.

We are alone with our changing minds

We fall in love ‘til it hurts or bleeds or fades in time

The difference is that she wrote her thoughts down in ways that they made lyrical sense when she blended the words with the strums on her guitar.  She spent a good ten years honing these skills, maturing her voice and becoming a true writer.  For that, you can throw all the bubblegum at her you want, but when it comes to achievement for a now 23-year-old, I find it hard to name a match.

My new blogging friend, who started me thinking about all this, told me she has written nine novels—her first when she was a teenager.  She’s only 21 now.  21 for cryin’ out loud!  She told me she has a passion for writing.  I can’t begin to deal with that kind of volume.  I’ve written one novel, my first, in my mid 60’s and I’ll probably complete another one this year.  I will never catch up with my new friend.

She wears high heels

I wear sneakers.

She’s cheer captain

And I’m on the bleachers.

Taylor Swift is in the news a lot.  She’s a big star.  She’s young, pretty, very talented, very smart and very rich.  It is no surprise that her boyfriends, who come and go frequently, are the topic of many of her songs.  She gets poked fun at for this.  But why shouldn’t she write about her relationships?  All writers draw from their own experiences.  And can you think of anything that says passion more than young love?  For Taylor Swift, let’s face it, as rich as she is, true love is the one thing she cannot buy.  For her, it is a work in progress.  We get updates every now and then in the form of a new song.  Now, I ask you, isn’t that so much more fun—and passionate—than reading an annual report?

 Hey Stephen, I could give you fifty reasons why I should be the one you choose

All those other girls, well they’re beautiful but would they write a song for you?

Passion is a powerful thing.  You cannot write without it.  It steadfastly pushes you along and, depending on how full your tank is, I suppose you can cover a lot of ground in a short time.  What is amazing about my new blogging friend and Taylor Swift is that their passion blossomed at a very young age.  The world should expect big things from these people.  Think about the work they’ve produced so far.  Imagine how much stronger they’ll grow in the years ahead…assuming they don’t lose the passion.

When you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you

You’re gonna believe them

And when you’re fifteen

Feeling like there’s nothing to figure out

Well, count to ten, take it in

This is life before you know who you’re gonna be

At my stage in life, I pretty much know who I’ve been.  There won’t be any significant changes for who I’m gonna be.  I may not have the energy and the optimism of a young lady in her 20’s, but I do share the passion that I suppose makes all writers akin.  How much passion is in my tank?  Not sure.  I guess it depends on how well my body keeps up with my mind…and vise-versa.  I think I’ll be all right for a good time to come.  I just need to keep dancing like I’m 22.



About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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2 Responses to BUT WHO’S COUNTING? …I AM!

  1. Marc Kuhn says:

    Leonor L Torres: I could half-way fake some Spanish when I had it in high school and college…but that was a loooong time ago and I moved to South Floria too late. I often thought I’d take a new course and pick up on it, but time just got away…but I will still buy a copy of your book and attempt to see how much I remember!


  2. Leonor L Torres says:

    Congratulations on your three years of blogging! I’ve been writing my Spanish poems since I was six- cant tell you how many years because I don’t want to give away my age- (don’t ask Myra), but I can tell you it has kept me young, and I wish you the same. Keep writing like you’re 22.
    PS My book of poems will be coming out early next year. You think you can learn Spanish by then?


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