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#Writing Tips: What “Margaritaville” has in common with “The Christmas Song” – chestnuts roasting and shrimp boiling

If you like writing – you’ll probably enjoy these writing tips inspired by this time of year.

It’s summer in Australia and Christmas vacation time – and a break from my normal gig as a writing coach and trainer.

word nerd CU

C and flower

I’m on a beach vacation with my  family and I’ve been enjoying listening to Christmas favourites like “The Christmas Song” and my mandatory summer, beach holiday music – including Jack Johnson – and Jimmy Buffett.

I Loooooove the power of good lyrics – like in “The Christmas Song” – you know…Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…!

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Jack Frost nipping at your nose

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir

And folks dressed up like Eskimos

I also dig Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville”.

Then, this morning it hit me! What these two of my favourite songs have in common!

The power of words to trigger sense memories.

In a previous post, I shared about the power of the first verse of “The Christmas Song” – all the different senses triggered by the descriptive words.

Valuable writing tip from The CHRISTMAS SONG

Compare this to the evocative “multiple sense trigger” lyrics  of the first verse of Margaritaville.

How many of your senses does the verse appeal to?

Not just sight – but taste, and a sense of texture, and smell, and  sound and motion!

This is from memory:

“Nibblin’ on sponge cake

Watching the sun bake

All those tourists covered with oil.

Strummin’ my six string

on my front porch swing

Smell those shrimp beginning to boil

TB at work in Bacino

So what? How can YOU apply this?

1. When you write – appeal to different senses – not just sight.

When you want to describe something ask:

What does it smell like, taste like, sound like?

2. Attune  and develop your other senses.

Sometimes, close your eyes – listen to the sounds around you, smell the smells around you.

Don’t just gulp down moments. Taste them!

Be aware of how things feel – the feel of a breeze or the warmth on the sun on your face

Or the taste of salt water that lingers when you lick around your lips even after you’ve left the surf.

Or the feel of cool, soft sand.

Or the taste and texture of mango.

mango pancakes 2

You can probably tell I’m really enjoying  savouring these experiences on my beach vacation!

Also Christmas vacation time is a great time to  snatch a few moments to improve your writing.

I love to turn off the TV and in quiet moments – listen to podcasts or writing or read books about writing or re-read my favourite Jimmy Buffett book.

JB book

If you’d like to improve your writing: Here are some quick tips.

1.Release The Verb

2.How nouns can save your butt!

3.Use visual language

4.Parallel Structure

TB headline technique

Also, if you’d like to learn more about  how Jimmy Buffett can help you with your writing, digital detox etc. – here are some posts.



If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.


I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.



tony biancotti


Linked In – under Tony Biancotti


One comment on “#Writing Tips: What “Margaritaville” has in common with “The Christmas Song” – chestnuts roasting and shrimp boiling

  1. efangelist
    December 22, 2014

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

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