I’m not a teenager. I know there are reasons we need rules. It helps ensure we don’t all kill each other, or ourselves. But when it comes to how and what I write? When it comes to the music I make? When it comes to what I do as a creator? Rules are made to be broken.

I understand there are rules to the English language. I understand there are rules to composing music. After years of doing both, I have a fair grasp on those rules, and have no problem complying. After all, people should be able to make sense of what I do.

However, beyond using a few basic organizational requirements for writing and music, all bets are off. I’m not big on formulas. Sure, there’s a formula to writing novels that are more likely to become bestsellers and movies. There’s a formula to writing hit music. Just follow the rules. Play the game. Reduce your art to a rubber stamp.

Every day is a new day. Every day, I’m going to get up and say the same thing. I want to push my art and creativity to new levels. That means I must be willing to break the rules, to experiment. That’s the only way to make something new and unique. You have to push the limits.

While the pop world follows the formulas, year after year, original artists are seeking the new. Don’t look for me on the top-40 or the bestseller’s list. I prefer to break the rules. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.