Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here.
I’ll admit to being a big fan of Disney’s animated movies and of course the music in them is always great – be it toe-tapping, whimsical, introspective or poignant.
So I hope you won’t mind today if I indulge myself a little bit by listing some of my favorites (along with links so you can listen to them if you like) and so that it’s not entirely frivolous, tie each of them to a writerly takeaway. .
Here they are, in no particular order
- You’ve Got A Friend In Me (from Toy Story)
Writer Takeaway: Writing can be a lonely, solitary business. Savvy writers will take the time to make personal connections, to be supportive of other writers and to maintain connections with friends outside of the writing community.
- Bare Necessities (from Jungle Book) Writer Takeaway: Most of us are working with limited resources when it comes to finances and time. But we all bring special resources to the table, namely our creativity and storytelling abilities. That is what the true ‘bare necessity’ is that it takes to succeed in this business. As for the rest, work with what you have and know that, if you stay alert to opportunities, you can go a long way on your God-given talent.
- A Whole New World (from Aladdin)
Writer Takeaway: Take the time in your worldbuilding to transport your reader to someplace they’ve never been before or to see the familiar in a whole new light, and make sure there are things to make them feel wonder and surprise over.
- Let It Go (from Frozen)
Writer Takeaway: There are things that will come your way – story ideas, promo opportunities, project participation offers, etc. – that you won’t be able to pursue/take advantage of. Hard as it is to let them go, you have to accept that they were not to be and don’t let regrets weigh you down.
- Go The Distance (from Hercules) Writer Takeaway: No one promised it would be easy or quick – persistence is key to making it in this business. And of course you want to add in the proper training, because the best writers know that they never reach the point where they know it all.
- Heigh Ho (from Snow White)
Writer Takeaway: Similar to the takeaway from the prior song, this one reminds me that there is no substitute for putting in the work. As a previous mentor once told me BIK HOK is the only way to get the book written (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard).
- Reflection (from Mulan)
Writer Takeaway: This is a hauntingly introspective song. One of my takeaways is that, whatever the cost, we have to be true to who we are, as a writer as well as an individual.
- Something There (from Beauty and the Beast)
Writer Takeaway: I love this song and it is a great lesson on how to develop a love story between two mismatched people. It also provides a good example of how to show versus tell a character’s growth and transformation.
- Almost There (from The Princess and the Frog)
Writer Takeaway: This song is all about having concrete goals and maintaining your focus on them. It’s much too easy to let distractions get in the way of your dreams or start looking for shortcuts.
- Into The Unknown (from Frozen 2)
Writer Takeaway: As writers we sometimes get stuck in a rut of sorts, writing the types of stories that have worked for us in the past and that we are comfortable with. Or perhaps we have become pigeon holed by our editors or readers who are leery of supporting us in a new direction we want to explore. But, scary as it might be, stretching ourselves, even if we eventually decide it’s not working, is how we grow as writers and as people.
- Dig a Little Deeper (from the Princess and the Frog) Writer Takeaway: This is such a fun upbeat song – gets my toes to tapping whenever I hear it. But the writer takeaway is that I should always ‘dig a little deeper’ when I’m developing my characters and stories, that just being satisfied with what’s on the surface is not enough to really touch the reader I’m trying to reach.
I could go on and on, but as I said, I’m under a tight deadline, so I’ll stop there.
Did your favorite Disney song make the list? If so, which one is it? If not, let me know what that missing song is and why you like it. I’ll pick someone from the list of respondents to give a copy of one of my books to.