Taylor Swift has disclosed one of the secrets behind her songwriting process, saying how she organises her lyrics into three ‘dorky’ pen-themed categories.
After receiving the NSAI Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award, Swift stated in her acceptance speech that she had never talked about this publicly before because she felt it was silly. She secretly creates genre classifications for the lyrics she writes-Quill Lyrics, Fountain Pen Lyrics and Glitter Gel Pen Lyrics.
She went on to say that it may sound strange, but she created these categories based on the writing implements she envisioned holding when she scribbled them down. However, she no longer has a quill. She broke it when she was angry.
Swift continued by highlighting the distinctions between the various categories, stating that the ‘Quill’ lyrics contain words and phrasings that are antiquated; if she was inspired to write it after reading Charlotte Brontë or after watching a film where everyone was wearing poet shirts and corsets. She writes in the Quill genre if her songs sound like a letter sent by Emily Dickinson’s great-grandmother as she sewed a lace curtain, she said before quoting ‘Ivy’ from ‘Evermore’.
Swift claims the Fountain Pen lyrics are some of her favourites. According to her, it means a contemporary plot or allusions with a poetic twist; reversing the meaning of a well-known expression. Trying to paint a detailed picture of a setting, right down to the incense dust on the vinyl shelf and the door frame’s chipped paint. Putting yourself and anybody else listening in the space where the incident occurred. The love, loss, everything. The songs she classifies in this genre have an unflinching honesty that makes them sound like scrawled confessions sealed in an envelope.
“The third category is Glitter Gel Pen and it lives up to its name,” continued Swift. “Frivolous, carefree, bouncy, syncopated perfectly 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 are the drunk girl at the party who tells you that you look like an angel in the bathroom. It’s what we need once in a while in these fraught times,” she added before explaining how ‘Shake It Off’ falls into this category.
The pop star went on to say that she sorts out her lyrics like that because she loves doing this thing, she feels lucky to call a job. Her life’s work, pastime and never-ending delight are writing songs.
Taylor Swift has unveiled the full track listing for her next album ‘Midnights,’ which features a collaborative track with Lana Del Rey called ‘Snow on the Beach’. Swift has previously discussed her latest song, ‘Anti-Hero,’ and how it allows her to explore her deepest vulnerabilities.
‘Midnights’ album was announced by Swift when she accepted the Video of the Year at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards in August.