How to Write like Adam Lambert

adam-lambertWe watch American Idol every season, a small nuclear family sitting in a Scottish living room, eating pizza, my husband and I drinking wine, all of us enjoying not only the talent, but the stage-managed drama and entertainment of it all.  It cuts across the age gap and gives us common ground to discuss.

This year, Adam Lambert has been our favourite from the start. But here’s why he got me thinking about writing the other day.

Talent alone is not enough.

Millions of people want to sing or write,  to touch hearts with their voices. Millions would love to make masses of money from doing it, too.  But what makes some people stand out?

Adam Lambert started young, that’s clear to see, and I reckon he’s had the support of his loved ones since the moment he figured out what he was born to do. I loved when his dad pointed out, against a backdrop of childhood photos of Adam dressing up and performing, that he was never much into sports.

He’s not a new phenomenon. He’s put in hard graft, earning a living from delivering Broadway performances every night, week in, week out. Maybe he even failed a few auditions along the way and learned from those, too.

He’s honed his talent with hard work and determination, and has learned how to command a stage, create presence and connect with an audience.

He chose to go the American Idol route, confident that the time was right. Impeccable timing and choosing the right platform are crucial for all artists who want to take their work to a wider audience.

He came to the show, daring not only to be different, but to be himself and different. The hair, the earrings, the painted nails, they’re simply symbols that say I’m not afraid to be me.

And just when we were getting used to that, the hair got slicked back and the image changed, just to mix things up.

He’s been versatile, experimenting with a variety of styles yet always, always letting his unique brilliance shine through.

Sometimes understated, sometimes over the top entertaining. That clear, haunting, passionate voice, that core of self-belief and keen sense of what he wants to do, where he wants to go and who he wants to connect with – it comes out in everything he does.

My teenage daughter sings, writes and acts. Some Idol performances get her ranting or raving, others leave her indifferent.  But Adam Lambert’s performance of ‘Mad World’ – a song that she herself sings – stunned her, left us all transfixed.

We felt we’d had a glimpse of genius. The pain, the passion and the experiences he distilled into every syllable connected straight to that part of the soul where empathy lives. He made an already beautiful song his own. He made it an anthem. 

He sang like a part of his very soul would die if he didn’t. I wish more people would aim to do that in their writing. 

Some days I feel myself wanting to scream at fellow writers that it’s not all about the money, the fame and the glory. When you’re hard-working, passionate, driven to hone your talent, your gift, your life’s work, till it’s gem-bright and brilliant, the money follows.

Make people cry. Make them smile as they sit alone reading your words. Stun them into silence. Make them say Wow! with wide open eyes and gaping mouths. Don’t settle for mediocrity or pander to the people who pay. Be brilliant. Be yourself. Be your best self.


  1. I love it, I love it and I love it…I could keep going with the “I love it” but then this comment would get really annoying!

    You took the words right out of my mouth. We are each unique individuals with unique gifts. It is imperative that we recognize our gifts and be true to those gifts. The cookie cutter approach whether it be writing or singing or whatever just does not work. It may work in the short term but passion is a life long endeavor.

    If you are doing something solely for the money, you are cheating yourself. People can tell when someone is doing something for the money. People are not stupid. However, when something is done with love, everyone recognizes that and responds accordingly.

    BTW, I have never watched American Idol and now you have made me want to see it. 🙂

    Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..High Beam to Success

    1. Thank you! I was going to include a YouTube link, but guessed folk would go there and find it. Isn’t his version stunning?! I enjoy Idol for the entertainment value, but it also brings us closer to our kids. We love hearing their opinions and they don’t laugh at ours because we often end up pre-empting what Simon Cowell and Randy say! It showcases some great talent; Danny Gokey has real soul and lots of heart this year, and Melinda, a couple of years ago, had a God-sent voice and was so nice, I wanted to adopt her!!

      I am so glad, too, that you resonate with my feelings about the importance of finding balance in our attitude to ‘right livelihood’. In order to make money from our unique skills and gifts, we have to find them first, then celebrate and nurture them.

  2. Very, very well said Janice. You should be a life coach or something 😉

    Money has never been a driving force for me, something which has been to my detriment a couple of times but I wouldn’t change that aspect of me for, well, all the money in the world hehe.

    Nadia said it right, we can tell when someone is doing something for money. The same can be said for fame or even power. Not for me thanks.

    As for American Idol. Nothing you can write is going to get me to watch that!

    Marc – WelshScribe´s last blog post..A Spiritual Revolution

    1. Thank you , Marc. I know it’s in your stars to make a living from your writing. In addition to writing well, you support and connect, you make people smile and feel special and that comes across whether you’re posting or commenting. I also like that you reach out to other commenters.

      If I send you a bunch of Welsh daffodils, a leek or two and a male voice choir of miners outside your door, will you at least give Adam’s ‘Mad World’ a wee listen to on YouTube?

  3. Hi Marc,

    I am so happy that you agreed with the concept that you can tell when someone is doing something for money and not love. I see it even in writing. It is so obvious when someone is writing from their head. I usually get so frustrated when that happens, I end up not reading the whole thing. I guess it goes to show you that not many people know what it is like to live from the hearts. You seem to know that so good for you!!! 🙂

    Of course, we know Janice knows that because started this topic! 🙂

    Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..High Beam to Success

    1. (yay…she whispers. And I didn’t even need to send in the heavies… ) I’m glad you checked him out and liked the track, Marc. His version of Mad World connected to the part of me that makes me want to write.

  4. Karen,
    Thanks! That’s what I love about inspiration – if it’s decided to target you, it’ll get you one way or another and have you making comparisons your rational brain might not even go near. I really believe that everything’s fuel for writers!
    Thank you for checking him out and for understanding that this blog isn’t just self indugent; I’m really trying to be brave enough to be myself and connect with and learn from others who are living or trying to live their best lives. My coaching friends have supported me and my writing 2,000% because they know me well and have seen me struggle. A new friend of mine was worried that I’d overstretched myself aiming a blog at 3 or more groups of people, but she then wrote to say “Creativity, connection, nurturing – I get it.” Her language was more colourful, but she actually Aha!’d it for me too by choosing those three words. I love these words, too: “You are weaving your words into a tapestry of everything you embody as a writer. Inspiring.” It could be applied to all of my favourite blogs.

    janice´s last blog post..How to Write like Adam Lambert

    1. I was a bit nervous as I clicked the link, wondering what on earth it was. But The Rhydian, oh the blessed voiced Rhydian. At the risk of sounding like a TV addict, which I’m not, our family voted for him in X Factor. Simon Cowell wanted him to win. Beautiful, beautiful voice – but again, in addition to the talent, he’s a phenomenally dedicated, focused, hard worker. Thank you for this.

      A suggestion, Marc. Put this on your blog as you’re having a week of supporting freelancers who may be feeling a bit downhearted. And it’s Welshscribe. And he’s Welsh!!!!

  5. Heh I wouldn’t put naughty links on your site.

    Since watching that YouTube video I’ve put his CD on and turned up the volume. I’m right this minute listening to “I Believe”.

    Now that’s an inspirational song.

    1. Please write a post about him either for here as a short guest post or for your own blog. I like your writing style when you’re relaxed and personal as well as when you’re being professional, informative and technical. All of your yous have value!

    1. I know! Your openess to spontaneous comments inspires me! Got a lovely surprise when I saw it there today. The people who visit your site will love how you’ve combined it with your own experience of freelancing and web design.

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