What Every Writer Can Learn From Janis Joplin…


A couple of Saturdays ago, I was in a black and white mood. I only wanted to spend my day lazing about on my sofa, stuffing my face and watching old black and white movies on the boob tube. Let me just put it out there; I had a heck of a good time! 🙂

I ended my “me” time by watching a documentary on the life of Janis Joplin, the white punk rock/blues singer/songwriter of the 60s. I found myself listening to the haunting lyrics of a woman in songs like “Summertime”, “Piece of My Heart” and my favorite “Me And Bobby McGee.” Those songs of love, longings and for freedom and unity were reminders of years gone by, but, this documentary also taught me something beyond my love of great music.

It showed the depth of an artist’s dedication, passion and love for her craft. It was raw footage of a great singer at work being her best self. As writers and authors, storytellers and game changers, our words can make a difference. We write to be read, heard, published and paid, true? We also write for the sheer joy of creating.
We cannot survive in a vacuum. Our passions need to be shared with the world. Janice Joplin’s passions for her music was only upstaged by her love and freedom for living life- oftentimes by making dangerous choices (drugs and alcohol) addiction.

This artist never lost her passion and purpose to use her music to invoke change, yes, but mainly Janis Joplin just wanted people to feel the ‘oneness’ she felt when on stage.
Unfortunately, Janis Joplin’s raspy voice and musical talents were stilled when she died of a drug overdose in 1970 at the tender age of 27.

What great artist have you learned brilliant nuggets of creativity from as a writer? More importantly, why do you write?



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