How to Write Your Way Out of a Mess; How to Write Your Way to Greatness

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How to Write Your Way Out of a Mess; How to Write Your Way to Greatness

Hamilton is a Broadway musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton who wrote his way out of the Caribbean and poverty, then wrote his way to greatness as author of the Federalist Papers and the first Treasurer of the United States. People exiting the play can’t wait to start writing.  Here are some lyrics and versus from two compelling songs about using the power of writing to change your life.  “Hurricane” is from the smash Broadway Musical hit Hamilton and “Wrote My Way Out is from Hamilton Mixtape.

“Hurricane,” a song from the Broadway Musical Hamilton


Write everything down, far as I can see

I’ll write my way out, overwhelm them with honesty


In the eye of the hurricane

There is quiet

For just a moment

A yellow sky


When I was seventeen a hurricane

Destroyed my town

I didn’t drown

I couldn’t seem to die


I wrote my way out

Wrote everything down as far as I could see

I wrote my way out

I looked up and the town had its eye on me


They passed a plate around

Total strangers

Moved to kindness by my story

Raised enough for me to book passage on a

Ship that was New York bound.


I wrote my way out of hell

I wrote my way to revolution


In the face of ignorance and resistance.


Wrote My Way Out

“Wrote My Way Out” is an original song from Lin-Manuel Miranda curated Hamilton Mixtape. The song takes it’s title from “Hurricane” in the original Hamilton Broadway production.  Here are some of the lyrics and versus explaining the power of writing to change lives:

“Wrote My Way Out” by !llmind, Dave East, Lin Manuel Miranda, Aloe, Blair, Nas

I wrote my way out

When the world turned its back on me

I was against the wall

I had no foundation

No friends and no family to catch my fall

Running on empty, there was nothing left in me but doubt

I picked up a pen

And I wrote my way out (I wrote my way out.)


I picked up the pen like Hamilton

Street analyst, now I write words that try to channel em

No political power, just lyrical power


Some additional quotes on writing from Dick’s Thinking Anew notebook:



Write by hand – What you cross out and delete stays on the page and sometimes the right way to do it emerges out of the disorder.  When you revise on your computer you lose all your false starts.  Darcy Jenish

Don’t struggle to understand practice; show up, be here and, like osmosis, the teachings will enter your whole body.  That’s how we learn writing, not through intellectualization, but we write through the whole body.  Practice is transmitted physically. Our hands, legs, teeth, butt, eyes, brain, nose, heart, knees are taking it in.  Then it’s really yours.  And it has to be yours because no one else can do it for you.  Natalie Goldberg

You need a quite place, a journal or notebook with pen and several of your favorite poems.  Music is very helpful.  A candle and something of beauty – a flower, a bowl of water, a photo or a statue – can also help to sanctify the moment.  Kim Rosen

At some point, let the outflow of words begin to move through your pen and unto the page. Continue to write uncensored, anything that follows. Again, don’t worry about logic, grammar or spelling. Just let the words pour onto the page to whatever way they come. Let the inner critic go out for a coffee break.  Write without editing for 10 to 15 minutes. Kim Rosen

The Zen way of calligraphy is to write in the most straight forward, simple way as if you were a beginner, not trying to make something skillful or beautiful, but simply writing with full attention as if you were writing for the first time.  This is the way of practice, moment after moment.  Shunryu Suzuki

Every time you write you build spiritual muscle. Janet Conner

The key is to tell it straight. It is done by reporters and by country folk. Garcia Marquez

I keep a journal close for when I’ve worked something out in the night.  Melissa Sweat

The first step is to say it poorly. And then say it again and again and again until you’re able to edit your words into something that works.  Seith Godin

If there is ever an anvil to power, it’s by writing.  Ann Marie Lypinski

Be open to accidents as you write. Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda

THINKING ANEW PROMISE – If you come to this writing practice each day, eventually you will be able to do what you formally could not.

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