The 7 Steps to Turning Your Life Into an Adele Song

YOU’VE GOT A CAR RADIO, a younger sister, and a rebound girlfriend—you’ve heard of Adele. The British singer/songwriter has, since 2008, dominated the airwaves with hits like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and “Set Fire to the Rain.” Her second album, 21, released in 2011, spent thirteen consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200—the first album to do so since 1998. Adele’s unarguably a music sensation. Or she’s a robot. Either way, she’s cashed in on the broken heart phenomenon.

So why can’t you write a hit song about getting dumped? Up until now you couldn’t, you talentless moron. It takes careful crafting to capture the lamest hearts in America. But with this 7-step method, you too can go from wallowing in self-pity to swimming in cash.

STEP 1: ENGAGE IN THE MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP
“It was dark and I was over until you kissed my lips and you saved me.”
The riskiest part of this entire process is the first step. You’ve got to find someone to fall in love with who also loves you back, orwhoat least makes it seem like they do. This relationship has to be the most important thing that’s ever happened to you. You eat, sleep and breathe your significant other. Remember the life you had before them? Of course you don’t, because you never really lived before you met this person.

STEP 2: SABOTAGE THE MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP
“Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.”
Happily ever after doesn’t get you to the top 40. You get to Ryan Seacrest leagues after you’ve had your soul stabbed by infidelity and clashes on rent and waking up one day with your clothes packed for you. So get yourself dumped. Say you didn’t see it coming. You’re a broken shell. Blog about it. Test the limits of your cat’s attention span. When your ex says they want to be friends, you say no way. Keep your eye on the prize: Dwell on the pain. The bigger the suffering, the bigger the payoff. Feel the anger and bitterness grow inside you.

STEP 3: MEET SOMEONE NEW
“Nevermind I’ll find someone like you.”

You might say to yourself: Becoming a famous musician sounds really emotionally damaging. You bet your ass it is. So get back on the horse. Find another special someone. You can’t live without them; they’d rather sleep with your friend. Loop Steps 1 and 2. Find another person and start again. And again. Rinse and repeat the process enough times to fill an album. Thirteen times or so, give or take.

STEP 4: YOU’RE NOT ANNOYING ANYONE
“I can’t bear this time. It drags on as I lose my mind.”
There comes a point in most whiners’ lives when they ask themselves if they’re being annoying. Look to your role model: Adele never moves on. Neither should you. Pause the cycle of rollercoaster intimacies. Dwell on them. Sit in your bedroom. By yourself. Block every contact on your phone and deactivate your Facebook. To quote an old proverb, “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you get a three-album contract.”

STEP 5: HOOK ‘EM
“We could have had it all. Rolling in the deep.”

Whether you’re a sophomore in high school, or a hip soccer mom driving that sophomore to high school, you know Adele’s choruses are knee-deep in awesome lines. I have no fucking clue what it means to “roll in the deep,” but when I sing it I kind of get it. Write something like that.

STEP 6: FILL IN THE BLANKS
“Just ‘cause I said it, don’t mean I meant it.  Just ‘cause you heard it.”
Now that you’ve written your fantastic hook, the verses can be whatever. Like if your chorus is about walking back from his house in the rain, ashamed, then the verses can be about that morning’s trip to Waffle House. For example.

STEP 7: THE AGENT
“Oooh the people I’ve met are the wonders of my world.”
Get an agent. Sell yourself. Twist your flaws into something sort of promising. Ugly=natural-looking. Stupid=down-to-earth. Can you sing? Doesn’t matter. We live in the age of the Internet—anything can get a fan base. Hell, you could cough into a microphone and people would label you an underground sensation. Worked for Ke$ha.

NOW GO FORTH
“Now look how you want me now that I don’t need you.”
Use the emotional scarring you’ve cultivated through these 7 steps to your fullest advantage and Pitbull will be begging to sing one of your hits in four to five years. Tops. And when it all comes down to it, having Pitbull rap in a remix of your lead single is the greatest measure of success.


Daniel Dockery likes bad cartoons, worse dating advice and Twitter. You can read his important notes at danielsfunny.com and tweet him at twitter.com/dandock .

Related on The Smoking Jacket:
Weekly Release: Adele, Saigon, Radiohead and More
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Inspired? Buy Adele here.

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