"I tended to really explore the edges of what I'm allowed to do," Swift said today on "Good Morning America."
"Pushing myself and taking myself out of my comfort zone, which is writing alone and going and working with my heroes, songwriters that have influenced me my whole career. It really, really kind of challenged me in the best way possible."
Swift, who writes or co-writes all her songs, said she is writing non-stop and that the adventurous album takes her music to places she never thought her "music would ever go."
"I'm writing all the time. I wrote a new [song] two days ago. … I just grab a guitar and make stuff up," Swift said of her creative process. "When I started writing songs when I was 12, I would run to my room and write songs about a difficult day at school or something like that. It's kind of carried me my whole life and allowed me to filter through really complicated emotions and make them simple."
"Red" features the single " We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," which has become a smash hit worldwide and prompted much speculation about the ex who inspired the catchy breakup ballad. Swift does not name names, but said she draws motivation for her songs from real-life.
"For me, music is my way of understanding what I'm feeling," she said. "I don't really talk about my love life. I kind of sing about it a lot because I really think that it sounds more poetic and romantic about it with music behind it.
"My fans know that I'm going to give them the real version of what happened to me in my music and they know that what they read about blogs and gossip sites may or may not be true. They can kind of tell if it's true or not because they know me."
Watch Taylor Swift perform LIVE on "Good Morning America" Tuesday at 7 a.m. ET.
Swift has forged an accelerated route to fame, reaching many career milestones by age 22. "Red" marks her fourth No. 1 album in a row. Her previous album, 2010's "Speak Now," won her two Grammys and sold more than 1 million copies in its first week. The singer-songwriter already has six Grammys to her name, has graced the cover of countless magazines, amassed a diehard fan base that "blows her away" and a huge following of almost 20 million Twitter followers and nearly 35 million on Facebook.
Living her life in such a bright spotlight, with paparazzi watching her every step and misstep, is something Swift said she's come to accept.
"There is a pressure to not make a mistake," she said. "I'm at an age where I'm supposed to be learning lessons, and I have to really kind of minimize the mistakes that I make because it's important. I have these people that I count on me. That's part of it that I've come to terms with."
As Swift has learned to deal with the spotlight, her parents have also adjusted to her success.
"My dad goes around with all of these guitar picks from my tour in his pocket and hands them to strangers and he makes friends anywhere he goes and loves it. He's the friendliest guy in the world," she gushed. "My mom is really sweet because she has really great taste and really logical opinions, and so I ask her for advice about everything. We are really close."
Swift also opened up to George Stephanopoulos
in the “GMA” interview about her first celebrity crush (Taylor Hanson), favorite
comfort food (Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal or Pop Tarts), and her hidden
talents (antique shopping).
The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, will perform next week at the Country Music Awards, where she is nominated again this year. Also on the list for Swift in the next year will be a tour for the album, which she said she has high hopes for.
"I would love to have this album be something that really I'm proud of and put together the tour and have it be a show that's worth people paying their money and spending the evening with us to see it," she said. "I want to make this show better than anything we've done before."
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