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Dar Williams talks about her new book ‘How to Write a Song that Matters’

Acclaimed singer-songwriter and author Dar Williams chatted about her new book “How to Write a Song that Matters.”

Dar Williams
Dar Williams. Photo Credit: Ebru Yildiz
Dar Williams. Photo Credit: Ebru Yildiz

Acclaimed singer-songwriter and author Dar Williams chatted about her new book “How to Write a Song that Matters.”

Her all-new songwriting book is intended for songwriters of all levels and backgrounds. The book combines tips, tools, and encouragement that anyone can use to get started with or to keep the momentum alive in their creative process. Dar Williams fans will also enjoy anecdotes and origin stories about songs they know and love. 

On the idea for this book, she said, “I have been leading a songwriting retreat for 10 years now, and collecting notes along the way. I really charted a path for how you write a song from beginning to end. Also, paying attention to how everybody writes differently, and everybody has different ways to getting what they want to say.”

Her new book has garnered rave reviews from such luminaries as Grammy winner Mary Chapin Carpenter and Anais Mitchell. “It has been amazing,” she admitted.

Regarding her music and songwriting inspirations, she said, “There is just a way that one can open up one’s mind to seeing the world poetically. For me, it is good to go to a place that tends to open up my poetic thinking. I try to make space to see the world in an interesting way every day. More than writing every day, I open my mind every day.”

On being an artist in the digital age, she said, “We have gotten used to it. All of the musicians learned a lot about the world and themselves when the big shift happened. We are living with that new reality. It has been a great learning curve.”

For young and aspiring artists, Williams said, “We encourage ourselves to write songs that feel beautiful, important, and interesting to ourselves. Then, we see what part of the world wants them. We always encourage people to start with what feels good to them because that is sustainable.”

“Also, separating what feels important and what makes money can also be a way to really find real inspiration,” she added.

Williams is a renowned singer-songwriter and musician. She is also the author of “What I Found in a Thousand Towns,” and writer/performer on over 15 albums of primarily original music, including her 2021 release “I’ll Meet You Here.”

She has toured the world with bands and as a soloist and continues to tour as a musician and sought-after speaker and teacher. “Touring right now is going great,” she said. “People are excited to get back out there. I feel a lot of good energy out there.”

Williams listed Rick Springfield as her dream duet choice in the music business. “Growing up, I was so in love with him and I always wanted to sing with him,” she said with a sweet laugh. “Rick was my secret love.”

On the title of the current chapter of her life, she revealed, “Everything Everywhere Happening at Once.”

Williams defined the word success as “freedom” and “feeling good about how she uses her time and space to have the opportunity to do what she wants.”

Her new book “How to Write a Song that Matters” is available by clicking here. “With this book, I hope everyone feels like they can write a song if they want to,” she said.

To learn more about Dar Williams, check out her official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 18,000 original articles over the past 16 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a six-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past three years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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