There’s only one show that I make it a point to see once a week – The Sing-Off. I get so much energy from watching people do what they love to do, what they are made for. These singers fill me up with their joy and passion. I love it.

Tonight, I was struck by how much this show has to show me about writing. Here are my top five lessons:

1. Trials can get you to where you want to be.
The last few weeks the group “Delilah” has really struggled to find their way, but tonight, when they dropped into themselves and did their music, they found themselves.
It may take a few tries to find my voice, but I keep trying – it’s there.

2. Be versatile.
Tonight is hip-hop night on the show. Most of these groups don’t sing hip-hop, but they are willing to try it out – sometimes rapping and all. While they don’t all excel, it’s a thrill to see them try something new and stretch their experience.
Experimentation may just lead you in a whole new direction.

3. A rhythm section is essential.
Without fail, the groups that get the biggest reaction are the groups with the best rhythm section. The beat box and the bass keep the group moving forward – steady as they go.
A writing rhythm section – regular practice and disciplined habits – is absolutely necessary.

4. There are no soloists.
One group has struggled throughout this season’s competition – “The Collective.” Part of their struggle is that they are all solo artists working together to make it through. They just can’t quite get their sound right; they haven’t learned to rely on each other and not outshine one another.
No writer can make it on her own; we need our supporters, our critics, and our readers to make it.

5. Rock out!
By far my favorite group is “Pentatonix.” Five voices. The best beat box. The best bass. The best lead. The best concept. Techno, futuristic, and just good solid singing. They rock out every week, and they leave everything on that stage every time.
No matter what you’re writing, pour it out every day, every time; be solid, be real, be you.

Sing-Off Fans, why do you love the show? What does it teach you about writing?