Show A Little Faith: Thunder Road And The Power Of Your Own Voice

by Joanna on April 23, 2008

As I continue this exploration of powerful writing I started thinking about a song to add to the mix. I wanted to include a song clip today - as it’s Wednesday, which has been informally designated, by me, as audio day, and because I wanted to make the point about you and your writing voice being an essential dimension of powerful writing.

Trouble was I couldn’t fix on the song that would capture it. My mind was going a-blank and a search for ‘power’ in song lyrics was turning up a lot of corny stuff on the power of love which wasn’t what I was after at all. Just in time my good friend Brad Shorr posted a piece on examples of powerful writing over at Word Sell Inc. Included in his list were the lyrics from Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen, reminding me of another post Brad had written back last summer on the nature of authenticity.

The Thunder Road lyrics get to me every time, no matter how often I hear them. Springsteen’s writing strikes me as so richly authentic because -

It’s straight from the heart.
It talks about something true and something real.

I don’t know about you, but I think this a vital dimension of powerful writing too. Certainly the last point. It talks about something true and something real.

So that clinched my choice of song. Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen.

Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night
You ain’t a beauty, but hey you’re alright


Authentic writing was the first theme I explored at Confident Writing. You might enjoy the e-book that I wrote up afterwards. It’s a free pdf download:

The Courage To Hear Yourself Sing.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Cath Lawson 04.23.08 at 9:34 am

Hi Joanna - that was a great choice of song. I was just reading your ebook - loved the Dolly Parton quote.

I found what you said about writing for one person particularly useful. I was on a course last week and we had to read our work out. Well I hated it - you know how it is when you feel as though your own stuff is awful compared to the rest.

Joanna Young 04.23.08 at 11:34 am

Hi Cath, glad you like it. The Dolly Parton quote is one of my all time favourites. It drives most of what I do.

I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy reading your work out. I bet your work is a lot better than you think it is though.


Karen Swim 04.23.08 at 1:12 pm

Woot for audio Wednesday! Joanna, thanks for the Springsteen song. What a great way to kick off mid-week. Great songs are driven by powerful lyrics. The lyrics move us even without music. Thank you for reminding me that powerful writing stands on its own. It may be surrounded by pretty pictures, or pulsing bass lines but the words are truly the star.

Brad Shorr 04.23.08 at 2:27 pm

Joanna, yes, what a fantastic song! Obviously I agree with Karen that the lyrics stand on their own, but the music carries a power all its own. There many great versions of Thunder Road, but you picked one of the best. Thank you for sharing this with your readers. It certainly made my day.

Joanna Young 04.23.08 at 2:44 pm

Karen, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m enjoying finding songs to add into the mix and help reinforce a message. This one definitely speaks to me about you, whoever you are, being good enough just as you are. So many of us forget that, and that’s when we lose our power.

Brad, the music gets me too. Just hearing the piano and harmonica intro is enough to send shivers down my spine.

Thanks again for giving me the inspiration with your own piece.


Cath Lawson 04.23.08 at 10:05 pm

Joanna - I think it’s something I need to keep working on. It’s the reading out that’s the problem. Even when i had to read out stuff that I enjoyed from a book, I hated it. I tend to get nervous and read too fast.

Joanna Young 04.24.08 at 8:33 am

Cath, it’s a step forward if you can pinpoint the tricky area - at least then you can work on some strategies for changing the way you feel before you start to read. I’m glad you don’t think it’s the writing anyway!


Wendi Kelly 04.24.08 at 5:59 pm

Joanna. I really enjoyed that song. My, my, I haven’t heard it in a long time…brings back some memories.

My mind wandered into the thought of showing a little faith, and I thought about the fact that sometimes we have to have a little faith in our own voice, in our own authenticity.

We have to have faith that what we need to say just might need to be heard somewhere too.

Thanks for some great inspiration today.

Joanna Young 04.24.08 at 8:35 pm

Wendi, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Releasing, realizing the power of our own words means having a little faith in our own voice.

Thank you too for this most inspiring line.

“we have to have faith that what we need to say just migh need to be heard somewhere too”.

Powerful stuff indeed.


Confident Writing 05.03.08 at 6:48 am

Have A Little Faith In The Power Of Your Own Voice

I love the way our words connect. From a post Brad Shorr wrote on powerful writing, to a post here sharing a clip of Thunder Road. The power of the song prompted Wendi Kelly to leave this comment:Sometimes we have

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