Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What We Can Learn From Katy Perry

No, really, hear me out. So I was driving to my school visit a couple of weeks ago, and this song came on the radio. Firework by Katy Perry. Yeah, I know she has her issues, but I really like this song. It's catchy, and dude, have you ever really listened to the words?

Here you go:
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag (yes)
Drifting throught the wind (yes)
Wanting to start again (yes)

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in (YES)

Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing (heck to the yes)

So right here, I just wanna pause and say that so far, I'm with Katy. Sometimes we're just down, just drifting, being blown here and pushed there. So what do we do? Sing on, Katy, sing on.

Do you know that there's still a chance for you
Cause there's a spark in you
Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed
So you can open one that leads you to the perfect road

Dude, THIS IS IT EXACTLY. Sometimes all these doors in our lives close, and we think that's it, the end, nothing more. We get rejected from an agent we think we'd work well with. We get notes back from a crit partner and we feel like revisions are impossible. We don't get the job we want, we don't get the apartment, we get passed over for a promotion.

We feel like all around us, doors are closing closing closing.

But really, there's another door that will open that will be perfect for us.

I love this. I may or may not have gotten a little misty-eyed in the car. I sucked that back real quick when I realized that hey-I'll-be-in-front-of-25-teenagers-in-less-than-ten-minutes. So yeah.

What do you think? Are all your doors closing? Or are some opening?

78 comments:

Trisha Wolfe said...

OMG you must have seen my week! LOL I was living a country song! I honestly felt like someone had a technology voodoo doll on me, trying to keep me from finishing my MS. This is an awesome post! I need to download this song and listen while I edit =) THanks! Have a wonderful day!

Laura Pauling said...

Songwriters for teens know how to cut to the quick, for sure. Have a good day! :)

Brenda said...

I have that song on my iPod. Also "Teenage Dream" seems like required listening for anyone who writes YA :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I love this too. Sometimes doors close for the best. I know I desperately wanted to be promoted at my job, but by the time the opportunity arose, I knew it wasn't right for me. I would have risked having a huge commute of over an hour to my office. It's the same with writing. I have faith getting an agent and being published will happen at the right time, but maybe not when I think.

K.D. Anderson said...

Preach, sista!

Candyland said...

It's hard to say. Even when it seems like the door is opening, I still feel like I'm on the outside.

Jen Daiker said...

Wow, Katy Perry knows her sh*t. I love that song and it's because of the words. They are great because it shows that we aren't alone in this world of craziness.

jdcoughlin said...

My doors are closed, but only because I'm not knocking yet. But, I have been there, closed doors. Sent back to the workshop with all the rest of the elves, told to hammer out something special, more special. Those closed doors kick my butt into gear every time.

Jonathon Arntson said...

I am not a pop music fan, BUT I LOVE Katy Perry. There's something different about her. She really is super awesome.

Rachel said...

I mainly listen to country, christian or the awesome channels that play songs from the 80s and 90s, so I haven't heard katy Perry before. . . but I am loving that song! And it totally fits my protag. I am in the "soundtrack phase" of my current work in progress, where I am getting together the music I need to listen to for inspiration while writing. And this song is going on it! Thank you :-)

Kelly said...

Oh, thank goodness you were talking about that song. I was hoping you weren't going to tell us to put whipped cream on our tatas and freeeeak in the Jeep.
But yes, I do agree. We are disappointed when things don't come easily, but I do believe that there is a reason for that. With hard work and persistence, we will find the right door or an open window.
Great post, Elana!

Amanda J. said...

I really love this song. When I first heard it, I decided it was the theme song of my life. :) Great post, Elana!

Liz Fichera said...

Wisdom from Katy Perry? I must ponder this... :-) Srsly, if you're not "glass is half full" as a writer, you might as well look for another career.

Melissa said...

I love this song for the same reason! I've been trying to pay attention to song lyrics more lately and this song really fits my life right now. I hope that perfect door opens soon:)

lynnrush said...

Wow. Never knew Katy Perry had it in her. Hadn't given her the chance to sit and listen to a lot of her lyrics. Thanks for this.

I totally believe in doors opening and closing along the way to guide you to where you supposed to be. I think God does that, even when we don't realize it or even believe in it. Before I believed in him things happened in my life, then looking back through new eyes (once I believed in God) I could see how doors had closed and opened guiding me all along the way.

Great post. Thanks for this. Just what I needed today.

Christine Fonseca said...

Love this! Needed it today too. I have a magnet that says (I'm paraphrasing) - "when one door of happiness closes, another opens. The problem is, we are so busy looking at the closed door, we don't see the one that has opened."

Matthew Rush said...

I've always loved Katy Perry, mostly because it annoys the heck out of my kids when I sing about "teenage dreams" and "skin tight jeans" in the car where they cannot escape, but still.

They actually like that firework song. The Russell Brand thing I don't get though.

Michelle McLean said...

Ah yeah, good song :) I'll have to remember those lyrics :)

Tracey Neithercott said...

This just proves I need to look up song lyrics because I'm one of those people who always hears the wrong words. And this fits perfectly for so many aspects of my life. Thanks, Katy Perry. (And Elana for making me listen to Katy Perry.)

Carol Kilgore said...

I love that Katy Perry song. It's full of good things.

Charli Mac said...

Someone is playing knock-knock zoom-zoom on my door. That's Ding Dong Ditch for some of you.

I am not supposed to be here. I am supposed to be revising...shh don't tell anyone.

Bish Denham said...

Wow. Those are some great words by an artist I'm not familiar with (what does that say about me?) Ahem, anyway. So many doors have closed in my life, so many opened, and new ones are being looked for. Great post Elana.

Chelsey said...

I'm glad another adult finds that song meaningful! I love it and the music video (firework boobs and all), but people make fun of it. Maybe they just don't want to admit how poignant it could be!

Carolyn V. said...

Good luck with the teens Elana! You'll do so great.

I hope there are doors opening! *fingers crossed...fingers crossed!!!*

Jennie Englund said...

'Cause baby, you're a firework! Come on, show 'em what you're worth!

Kristi Helvig said...

It's definitely better than the California Gurls song (or however she spells ut). I always feel like doors are open, and though I'm sometimes disappointed when some are closed, I realize it just means it's not the perfect door for me. I've learned to trust the universe that way. :)

Patti said...

Sometimes it takes a while for that other door to open, but it does.

Good luck with the teens.

Shari said...

I have experienced a lot of closed doors lately and when a door finally opened, it would be the wrong door--kind of like picking door number three to find a donkey pulling a cart instead of the brand new car. But, I'm still moving ahead waiting for the right door to open.

Love this post. I like that song, too.

Carolyn Abiad said...

The kids in your class must think you're amazing! I like listening to lyrics too, but when it comes to Katy, I'm usually running the other way! RE: The Doors... Break on through ;)....although, I seem to be stuck at the moment.

Kristin Rae said...

Nice tie-in. I honestly haven't listened to much of the song because it sounds like she's yelling the chorus, and I change it every time it comes on. haha.

Side note: I met Katy when she was known as Katy Hudson (Perry is her mom's maiden name) back when she was a Christian music artist on tour with Bebo Norman (I think she was about 16--just her and her guitar). She's definitely talented, but I liked her old music so much, I have a hard time taking her seriously now.

bel said...

My 9 year-old loves Katy Perry. I love that she has a song I don't mind my daughter listening to. In fact, I like the message!

Donea Lee said...

I LOVE this song!! First, for the beat of it, and then I really listened to the words and loved it more. Such a great message (great video, too)! And I'm a person who likes to think nothing ever goes my way. Well, I don't like it - but I think this way. Until I can pull back a little and realize that things aren't so bad and I get what I need, usually... :) Like Maria, I just need to think "When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window!"

Angie said...

That's great. I hope your right, because all I see are closed doors right now. :-/

Lisa Potts said...

I was getting my hair done last weekend and my stylist mentioned that she hated the song. I had to bite my lip as she bemoaned the silly pop lyrics because I LOVE it. I mean, come on, had she even seen the video? Because the video is awesome too.

I'd rather have my kids listening to these lyrics over some of the others I've heard lately. Plus, my stylist listens to country music. Sorry to those of you who enjoy it, I just find it uber depressing.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This is awesome! I have no idea who Katy Perry is, but I like it! :-)

Melissa Gill said...

My nieces are really into Katy Perry. I myself am a clueless old bag. Oh well. Those lyrics sound pretty relevant though. I've not heard the song, but I'll grab my neices Ipod the next time I see her.

Good luck on your school visit.

Lisa_Gibson said...

Wow, who knew Katy could be so deep. That totally is a great message. I think doors close for me in some areas but open in other areas. Thanks for a great post. :)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Taryn Tyler said...

What an encouraging though. Thank you.

Cassandra Frear said...

Hey this was a great post. And your writer's voice is just the right fit to deliver it.

By the way, I hope you are right. If you aren't I'll be wanting my money back.

Mary Vaughn said...

Sometimes the doors close and open so fast around here it's like Alice in Wonderland.
This is a very encouraging post. It's easy to see why you are a ht with the teens.

RaShelle said...

Elana - This song's been played over and over til it can't be played anymore in my universe. It's been one of THOSE times in my life. So, now the doors need to start opening, right? Yes, please. =D

Plamena Schmidt said...

Gotta go listen to that song now : )

Heather said...

Oh wise one you have schooled me again. And just when I needed it! I'm seeing a lot of doors close right now and it can be disheartening. Thank you for reminding me to look for the one that is opening!

Danielle said...

Wow. YES. YES.

Thanks.

The Golden Eagle said...

I'll have to listen to the song!

Rebecca T. said...

Wow. Just wow. That was great. I love finding songs like this that just speak right to you!

Karen Lange said...

A bit of both. And all for good and purposeful reasons. :)
Happy Tuesday,
Karen

Liza said...

It's even better when inspiration comes from an unlikely source.

Lola Sharp said...

I don't care what anyone says, I Love me some KP!

Jennie Bailey said...

Elana, you rock for soooo many reasons. Using a Katy Perry song just added to that list. Brilliance. I had one door slam closed but wow did a lot of windows open!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Doors open at the moment, but I know it's a small window of opportunity for me. "We're only immortal for a limited time." Okay, now I'm channeling Rush lyrics...

ali said...

I'm with everyone else - YES to the nth degree.

Krispy said...

I'm probably in the minority when I say I don't really love this song, BUT I do think it has a good message. I do also love that line about the doors. It's so true. :)

Jan Markley said...

Nice reflection. I'm always looking for the open doors!

Martha Ramirez said...

How funny. That video was brought up on an agent's Facebbok post and the when I went to work I found that Katy just came out with an OPI polish collection (cool colors btw).

Very cool soun--very catchy. Thanks for sharing the words! so so true that it can relate to writing.:)

selestiele said...

I actually like Katy Perry overall, but this song is one of my favorites. I've been listening to it over and over lately. I won't get all philosophical. Just love it.
Noelle

Nicole L Rivera said...

Love Katy!!! I think the wrong ones close and the right ones open.

L.T. Elliot said...

Those are some great lyrics. And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one getting misty-eyed in the car.

Larissa said...

OMG--I have had the EXACT SAME THOUGHTS listening to that song (yanno, except for the school visit part, cuz I'm not that cool yet). I even checked out the video on YouTube, thinking I'd post it on my blog, but the video is a leeetle...strange.

But the song--Love it!

Theresa Milstein said...

Closing. Just got a detailed rejection from an agent. Thinks my message is too preachy. : (

Jack Johnson's "Sitting, Wishing, Waiting" is something I'd sing to agents:

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jackjohnson/sittingwaitingwishing.html

Kris said...

Have you seen the video, Elana? It makes me cry! I love the message. I actually blogged about the song a couple of weeks ago. Love it!

Heather Kelly said...

I second Kris--you must watch the video. Must.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

Jeff King said...

Doors are always open; it’s up to me to make sure they lead somewhere.

I love coming to your blog, it always makes my day brighter.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Some doors are closed, some are open, some need to be found.

Kelly Dexter said...

I've had similar thoughts about this song. It's great to know I'm not the only one who has gotten a bit teary listening to it.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

This post reminded me of a line from...The Sound of Music. "When a door closes, God opens a window." Or something like that.

Great post!

Serenissima said...

Whenever that song comes on the car radio, the kids make me crank it up and we all sing like goofballs. The video is a little odd though, what with the fireworks coming out of her chest. Still, I like it.

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow - I've never listened to the words - they're awesome! Who knew??? Well, aside from you... :)

At this point, life is so busy I'm not really knocking on doors at all so I have no idea what's open & what's locked :) But I think I'm heading into a more productive time! Yay!!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I hope they are opening! I'm about to find out because I hope to query soon.

Write Chick said...

Usually can't stand Katy Perry, but I like this song too. I'm in the limbo right now. Haven't put myself out there much in the writing world. I'm polishing my first manuscript right now and then I'll query, query, query. :-)

BTW--Another great song is 'Strip Me' by Natasha Bedingfield. Not like it sounds...trust me. :-)

WritingNut said...

This is an extremely timely post. This year has already gotten off to a rocky start, and it feels like more doors are closing than ever. And the ones that shut before are still firmly bolted.

But in truth, maybe all of the dead ends have been to lead me back to THIS path of writing, where maybe the doors ARE open. I'll find out soon because like many others, I hope to query within the next few months.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Great post. Thanks for putting me onto this song. I'm listening to it now, and my eyes are tearing up. I would so love for my kids to hear this message.

I like that she says "YOU can open one that leads you to the perfect road." We have to open that door ourselves. We have to open ourselves up to the possibility of failure in order to achieve success.

WindyA said...

I think Katy Perry is hawt and has awesome hair. I'm totally jealous.

And I think there are always doors closing and new ones opening. You just have to pay attention.

Hannah Kincade said...

I wasn't a Katy Perry fan until I actually read some of her lyrics somewhere a while back and they sold me.

About doors, I think I have more opening then closing right now but as long as there are still doors and not walls, I'm maintaining the positive attitude...most days. ;)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Wow, I never thought I'd be inspired by Katy Perry but hey, those words are awesome!

Julie Musil said...

"Everything happens for a reason." Mom's words still ring true today.

Jennifer said...

I'm leaving a comment well over a week since this post went up. I just wanted you to know that I have had this song running through my head EVERY day since reading this post.

And I LIKE IT. Thanks for pointing out the lyrics. It was just what I needed to hear. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

I've never heard the song, but she makes a good point. The best thing I ever did is to stop blaming others for me not achieving my goals. No one else can close a door for you.

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