About 2 years ago, I wrote hundreds of lyrics and poems, and a lot of them I really thought were professional-level masterpieces at the time. Just now, I looked back into that folder to find a bunch of terrible emo-kid work. I never was part of any sort of emo scene, but apparently I could write it. Then I had a lot of Blink-182 mimics that were just completely lacking in intelligence, much like Blink-182's lyrics.

Just two months ago, I learned in a creative writing course at my college about the woe-is-me fallacy: a flaw many young writers have. They focus on themselves and their problems, thus creating nothing of any worth. I immediately thought of myself 2 years ago. I haven't written any lyrics at all in 2 years. I have written poems only for my classes, and they are significantly better than anything I had written before.

So, I guess this thread's purpose is to give everyone a tip: don't write your woes, because nobody wants to hear it. I guess only someone capable of creating the stereotypical emo music could make self-pity writing useful, but only young teens are going to want to listen to it.

A professor I once had said to bring a notecard with you where you go and just watch people and things. Write down anything of interest, and if you decide to write later, you've got ideas. Pretty much if you can use a lot of symbols (or a recurring theme in a single symbol, such as bright round things like oranges and lights) and describe a scene that YOU KNOW (like don't write about Egypt if you've never been there), but keep it away from your personal issues, you have a better chance of writing something decent.

It's good advice. That emo stuff is worthless, unless you really become famous and earn good money for your issues, and I'm beginning to think a lot of that childish punk, like Blink-182, is of no value either.
Thanks, thats really good advice actually. I never thought of that.
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i used to do the same thing id rite like emo crap and everyone thought it was awesome ... it sucked. now my friend does it and i think hes relly a tool and not my friend. he sez he wants 2 b in my "band" and i go 2 a private school with no talent and play heavy metal so theres not relly n e talent in that area
Good post.
I think that personal issues are worth writing about if, and only if, you can write them in a way that is broader than just relating to you.
Off the top of my head... I'd say that 'Creep', by Radiohead is a good example.
Obviously it's a personal thing that Thom is writing about, but it's written so that we, the listener/reader, can relate.

It's when you stray too far from personal issues that the music loses its feeling and becomes purely poetic, and thus pretentious and shallow.
I definitely agree that straying too far into the 'woe-is-me' zone ruins a piece, you've just got to know where the line is between emotionally stirring and pathetic.

That's my two cents anyway.
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agreed, i look back on the stuff i wrote 2 or 3 years ago and just go "what the hell?" they where personal songs but i look at them now and just see emo all over it (i still wont throw them away, they are personal and still have meaning to me but i dont show them to anyone else).
i guess its all just a balancing act of what you know and feel and what relates to people