Hi 6th and 7th hours!!

Today, both hours saw JC Brooks  perform ( poet/songwriter/singer).  He did perform mostly different things both periods except for one poem and one song.  Personally, I saw him both last year and this year, and I think he's now in my list of top 5 favorites from Writers Week.  I can tell you why I think this later (if you're interested), but now, I want to hear from all of you!!

There are two questions below.  You need to respond to BOTH questions.  If people have already written responses before you, you should read what others have written and respond to that as well.  Try to not just repeat what others ahead of you have written.

 

1.  JC Brooks said that, for him, he "lives his happiness," so he doesn't write a lot of upbeat, happy songs.  He uses his writing to get him through the harder times in his life.  Do you think that is true for a lot of songwriters and poets?  Why do you think this?  What about applying this idea to your own writing?  What role does your emotional state play in your own writing?  Why do you think this is the case?

2.  Overall, what is your reaction to JC Brooks? (You don't have to like him just because I do!)  Why do you have this reaction?  Use specific examples here to explain your response.

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Replies to This Discussion

1. I think this is true for a lot of songwriters and poets because just like JC Brooks said, people like to enjoy the happy parts of life and don't need to analyze them and understand them, but the frustrating and depressing parts of life sometimes need to be understood deeper in ways such as poetry and music.I think it's smart to apply this idea to writing because everyone experiences parts of their lives differently than others so being able to express and understand your own feelings would be useful in relating them back your writing and/or using them in your writing. Your emotional state plays a huge role in your writing because being able to transfer your thoughts and feelings towards your writing can be very challenging but in the end will only make your writing better, more relateable to readers, stronger, and more well-rounded overall.
2. I think he is very interesting and out of the ordinary because he can be very serious sometimes but can immediately switch to being humorous. I thought his point of views, for example towards why he writes sad songs, was very different and made me think differently towards his music. I admired his poetry, however I wasn't a big fan of his music because it was depressing.
1.I think this is true for a lot of songwriters and poets because I think it makes the writing easier to write and more heartfelt, and also helps them get their emotions out in a more positive way. Writing down either depressing times or happy times can create art like songs or poems, and it's a good way to share your emotions. I think in my own writing if ive experienced it, or felt those emotions before it makes the writing better, and more real. I think this is the case because they are familiar with the emotions, and know how to write it well and realistically.
2. I liked JC Brooks because he was honest, and had his own opinion on every topic that was discussed, and was confident with how he felt about it. Such as the issue on the police officers and African Americans. Also he isn't just a singer and songwriter, but also a poet, and it was cool on how one of his songs was written in iambic pentameter. His music isn't really my taste, but they were still well-written songs.
1. I think it's true that a lot of people who write in general (not just songwriters & poets) tend to express their emotions through what they write. I totally agree with Brooks on this and I even tend to write out my problems and stressors too by journaling what emotions I feel and why. I think incorporating emotion in writing is a really great way to prove whatever point you want to make and also show other people a hint of who you are as a person. It makes everything so relatable and because of that, it just makes what you wrote that much more interesting. The emotional state that a person is in can make a huge impact on and improve the quality of their writing because the way a person feels is so real and powerful.
2. I liked J.C. Brooks because he was a really open person. He wasn't scared to be himself around such a big crowd. He made jokes in between his songs and poetry and I liked the fact that he clicked with his audience almost immediately. Also, when he sang or read his poetry, I loved the way he performed because I think he really spoke to us through his writing and it made for a really meaningful performance overall.
1. JC Brooks is able to portray many of the struggles and hardships in his life through music and writing. When he is out singing in gigs and having a good time, he is able to really "live his happiness". The problem, though, appears when he is either saddened by events in his life or is simply going through a tough time. He finds that songwriting is one of the best forms of expression he has. He stated that frustration is what many times brings out some of his best works, and he is able to share with the entire world his deepest feelings in this manner. Many other musicians and writers use this art as a form of reflecting upon their life and various events, whether they are traumatizing or joyous. The emotional state of the writer can impact his/her writing greatly, in that the tone, feeling, and word choice that is is written with can differ immensely. This can easily implemented in one's own writing by making sure that he is in the same state of mind that he wants his writing to develop and become. The true self expression of the writer becomes quite evident when the ideas and story is written.
2. JC Brooks was a very diverse man all together. It was quite evident that everything he had written was truly from his heart and he was able to engage the audience through his frequent diversions and comical sayings. His songs also seemed very memorable to him, which in turn caused the audience to sympathize with him and understand the pain involved with breaking relationships. His attitude and energy captured our attention instantly and his songs allowed me to understand a different aspect to music. I enjoyed the variety that he was able to bring to the stage, but the music itself was not as pleasant to me. I am still awed by his ability to perform poems with such leisure and it was impressive how easily JC Brooks entertained us.
1.I really admired JC's point about how he "lives his happiness" while tending to write songs about the darker moments in his life. I believe we live in an analytical society where everything needs to be thought through, including the times in life when we should be just living and having fun. Instead of focusing on finding the perfect word to complete the perfect line during a joyous time, JC lives in the moment and enjoys what is in front of him. I truly appreciate that mind set. I see this way of thought in a lot of songwriters today. Many songs nowadays are dark and emotional and were written during a rough time in the songwriters' lives. This is when the best writing is created. The emotions the songwriter may be feeling can translate to our hearts when we listen. I have never thought about my emotions when I write, but now that I have acknowledged the idea, I can see how my emotions can affect my writing. If I am truly passionate/angered about a subject, that is when my strongest writing occurs. There's something about being fired up or emotional about a subject that makes the words just flow right from the pencil.

2. I had mixed reactions to JC's performance today. There's no doubt that he has talent. He has an amazing voice while also having a powerful strength in writing. I could see why he has had such high reviews in the past. With that said, although his talent was there, his organization was not. I felt like he did not have an agenda while on stage. He skipped around between songs and poems without any real introductions or explanations. I was a little lost at times when he was transitioning between acts. Although his mumbling or little chuckles here and there were amusing, it actually made him seem scattered and lost. In past performances I have seen at Writers Week, the performer seems to be organized with a plan for their presentation, and as an audience member I wished that organization was apparent today.
1. I think a lot of songwriters and poets use writing as a way to get them through the hard times. When you think about it you dwell more on the harder times in life and the happier times come and go naturally. The harder times of life are always in the back of your mind and with poetry, music, or writing you go through and analyze those time until you feel comfort. I think applying this to my own writing will benefit the paper and add a more realistic, relatable feeling. I think while in the writing process your emotional state sets the tone and mood of your story. Being able to connect your feelings and emotions through the story is important so the readers can relate to it on a personal level.
2. I personally liked JC Brooks. He was outgoing and wasn't afraid of being himself infront of a crowd. He was also humorous and made jokes in between presenting his pieces. I liked the stories behind why he wrote his music and poetry. Although his music isn't my type I found his work interesting because his poetry was more depressing and his music was sad and longing. Also I admired the melody of his music because it had a nice beat.

1. I believe that using art as a stress-reliever is commonly used by many people, whether or not they are a songwriter or poet. It gets a person's mind off of what is troubling them by allowing them to concentrate on something else, but making it more emotional and personal. Doing this also keeps the person aware of what is going on around them instead being distracted by negative people or events around them. I use this method very often. It is easier for me to create a character and write similar problems, but actually solve them, unlike what I do in reality. A person's emotions can really affect their writing. Their feelings are reflected in their narration and dialogue, while also allowing them to fully understand what they are feeling. Thinking about something and actually writing it out is a completely different experience.

2. JC Brooks was really fun to watch, though a little unprepared and unrehearsed in terms of organization. Despite still recovering from his illness, his writing was raw and emotional (I hope he is okay, though, since he was singing for two periods straight). Personally, I believe that the chords he used in his music were whimsical and unexpected, playing into how the future is never what one might believe it to be. 

1. I think that this is a very true statement in regards to the music of most artists. This is probably a direct result of their own feelings. Many times people write songs or poems abour their feelings, and it is easy to write about things that are really emotional for people. When people go through hard things in life, they try to write about it to express and almost lift the burden off of them. In personal writing people always say to write what you know. If you express your true feelings, it makes writing so much easier. By writing about hard times, it gives their audiences something to connect to. In my writing I recongnize that my own feelings influence what or how I write about something. Writing in your own opinion is simpler than writing in the perspective of another.
2. Overall I thought that JC Brooks was a hard person to follow. I think that he could have been a little more organized than he was. It would have helped if he gave an explanation to his writing. I believe that he is very talented because he is a songwriter, singer, and poet. I was very blown away with his public speaking ability. I thought that he really connected with the audience and showed us who he is. I would have liked to hear a little more upbeat or happy songs thrown in between the sad ones. Not to say I didn't enjoy his performance, but i feel that it would benefit him to add a little more pep throughout his time so that his performance would be more intersting and exciting.

1. I think that JC Brooks quote is very inspiring and very true. Almost all performers, artists, and writers express themselves through their works, yet I still think a lot of writers and artist are inspired by their good memories and good times and use that to make pieces of work that are just as great. That being said I do believe that ones emotional state plays a great factor in their writing. Writing can be used as an outlet for emotions like rage, sadness, or even happiness. Like we've talked about in class, many writers choose to write about what they know, and writing about ones emotions allows one to vent their feelings and for their writing to really be authentic.

2. Having seen JC Brooks 2 years in a row, I will not deny he has a lot of talent. I really enjoy his music and his poetry, which is a really big thing for me because I usually have little interest in poetry. Yet in all honesty I was a little disappointed this year. I really liked the pieces he displayed last year, and I was a little disappointed that he used some of the same material both years. Also he seemed really unorganized this year, forgetting some of the lines and running back and fourth to the piano. Also I was a little disappointed he didn't really explain a lot of his works, I really wanted to here the stories behind them and a more in depth explanation of the inspiration. Yet despite all this I really would like to see him come back and preform again because I really did enjoy seeing him.

1. JC Brooks can be compared to a lot of artists for his uses of writing to get through tough times, especially some rappers. It's easy to forget about everything when you are blissful and happy, however, when you are angry you need a medium to release that anger. The art of writing is a beautiful way to express yourself during rough times. Actually, I do write or journal/log my thoughts when I go through tragedies or rough periods of time. I can relate a lot to JC Brooks in how he writes when he's down, because that's really the only time I willingly write, unless I feel supernaturally inspired to. I think I write in tougher times because the paper is like your audience and your pen is the way you communicate. I am often alone during times of distress and my pen and paper are perfect listeners of my woes.

2. I thought JC Brooks was amazing! He's incredibly talented, and relatable as well. He's also funny, which helps. I thought his kind of dark and blues-styled poem was very cool as well. His voice is soothing and evokes emotion while his humor was light and shared tastes with me. Everything was great except for his opinion on who he wanted to win the presidential election. Screw Bernie the socialist and America is a first world country.
1. I think it's definitely true for a lot of songwriters and poets. There are so many songs out there about unrequited love, heartbreak, etc because when people are in pain, they tend to want comfort and seek it from other people who can relate. Like Hancine said, writing about harder times in life is a way to distract yourself and do something more productive and positive instead of just moping around and doing nothing. For some people, it's just easier to write out their thoughts on paper than to have to actually say it aloud to another person. When I apply this to my own writing, I actually feel better. It's a way for me to let out my anger or sadness or frustration instead or keeping it bottled up, ready to burst at any moment. My emotional state affects what I write about and the tone I use throughout my writing. If I feel really happy, I don't want to write about something depressing and ruin my mood. On the other hand, if I'm feeling upset, I don't feel like writing about something really happy and uplifting; chances are, I'll make myself feel worse.
2. I really like how laid back and relaxed JC Brooks seems on stage. Even though he forgot his papers at home, he almost tripped over the rug, or he picked stuff to perform last minute, he didn't really show any nervousness. He seemed comfortable in his own shoes and adapted to the situation really easily. If I were in his shoes, I would probably panic and freeze up on stage. His music wasn't the greatest, but I really admired how eloquently he spoke and the rhythm he had. The words just flew out his mouth with ease.
1. I think that this is true for a lot of songwriters and poets. I think that sometimes it is more difficult to caputre the emotion you get from happier occasions, and it is easier just to enjoy them while they are happening. It is a lot easier to write down your feelings and memories from harder times. Writing down your emotions from when you were sad can be a really good way to cope with them and to to fully understand your feelings. Writing your sad emotions down can help you deal with them. I tend to focus on writing about harder times because I find that expressing my feelings towards difficult situations easier. I find that writing down my emotions makes me feel a lot better than bottling them up inside me. A person's emotional state can impact their writing a lot. If they are really passionate about a subject then their writing will be a lot more interesting to read or listen to because the writer will have put more effort into it.
2. I really liked JC Brooks's preformance. I enjoyed how passionate he was about every poem he read and every song he sang. I could really tell that he had put a lot of emotion into these pieces and it made his preformance more enjoyable to watch. He had a lot of energy and I liked that he wasn't afaraid to mess up. If he forgot something, he just laughed and moved on instead of dwelling on the mistake. His confidence and passion made his preformance really interesting and memorable.

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