Are you tired of struggling to write your next good song?
You're not alone.
Many songwriters face creative blocks and frustrating dead ends.
However, the secret to breaking free lies in unconventional and even contrary songwriting advice.
In this article, you'll discover how I've helped aspiring songwriters like you to create consistently, implement what you learn, and, most importantly, enjoy the songwriting journey.
Lesson 1: Embrace Quantity Over Quality
I used to believe in the myth of quality over quantity until I discovered the transformative power of embracing speed and abundance in my songwriting journey.
Creating more songs, not perfect ones, will unlock your songwriting potential faster than you'd ever imagine.
The 'Quantity Over Quality' Revolution
It's time to reframe your mindset!
Instead of fixating on crafting the perfect song, prioritize producing a large number of songs.
Trust that you'll gain valuable experience and develop a unique, personal style with each new creation.
How Focusing on Quantity Benefits You
- Building a habit of songwriting: The more you write, the more you'll develop your songwriting habit. And as you consistently produce songs, your creative muscles will grow stronger.
- Refining your craft through practice: Writing multiple songs helps you experiment with various techniques and approaches, ultimately improving your craft.
- Developing a unique style: By pushing yourself to create a high volume of work, you'll start to notice patterns and preferences that define your artistic voice.
Quick Tips to Increase Your Songwriting Quantity
- Set realistic daily or weekly goals for songwriting
- Establish a consistent writing routine to make it a habit
Lesson 2: Trust the Power of Perspiration Over Inspiration
Imagine sitting at your writing desk, inspiration nowhere to be found, and yet, you write the best song of your life.
Songwriting is less about the lightning bolt of inspiration and more about the steady drumbeat of effort like a woodpecker persistently tapping away.
Debunking the Inspiration Myth
Waiting for the perfect moment of inspiration is like waiting for a bus that never comes.
So instead, trust in the power of hard work and persistence to bring your songwriting to life.
Why Perspiration Matters in Songwriting
- Developing discipline: Consistently writing songs, even when inspiration is scarce, helps you cultivate discipline and a strong work ethic.
- Cultivating creative resilience: As you learn to rely on your own persistence, you'll become more resilient to the inevitable ups and downs of the creative process.
Techniques to Keep You Perspiring
- Schedule regular writing sessions and stick to them
- Use practice prompts and exercises to keep your creativity flowing
Lesson 3: Leverage Tiny Habits for Consistent Songwriting
Once I stopped trying to make drastic changes and started focusing on tiny habits, my songwriting consistency skyrocketed.
Tiny habits, consistently practiced, are the building blocks of monumental songwriting success.
The Tiny Habits Method Explained
The Tiny Habits method, developed by Dr. B.J. Fogg of Stanford, emphasizes creating small, manageable habits that, over time, lead to significant change.
It's the perfect approach to transform your songwriting routine.
How Tiny Habits Can Help You
- Establishing a daily writing habit: By implementing tiny, consistent habits, you'll create a sustainable daily songwriting practice.
- Making the process enjoyable: Small, achievable goals are less daunting, allowing you to enjoy the songwriting process more.
Steps to Implement Tiny Habits
- Identify a simple habit anchor: Choose an existing daily routine (e.g., brushing your teeth) that will remind you to write.
- Create a tiny behavior: Commit to writing for just a few minutes immediately after your anchor habit.
- Celebrate your success: Give yourself a small reward or praise after each writing session to reinforce your new habit.
Lesson 4: Don't Be Afraid to Break the Rules
Songwriting is like a game of chess—you have to know the rules, but the real fun begins when you start creating your own.
Your most memorable songwriting often comes from fearlessly breaking the rules, not meticulously following them.
Challenging Conventional Songwriting Wisdom
Who says you have to follow the rules?
Instead, dare to challenge traditional songwriting wisdom and venture into uncharted territory.
The best songs often come from artists who are unafraid to innovate and redefine norms.
Benefits of Experimenting with Different Techniques and Styles
- Discovering your unique voice: Breaking rules allows you to explore your creative boundaries and develop your one-of-a-kind sound.
- Overcoming creative blocks: Experimenting with unconventional methods can help you bypass writer's block and unlock new ideas.
Rule-Breaking Songwriters Who Found Success
Think of iconic artists like David Bowie, Radiohead, or Björk, who defied expectations and achieved great success.
Embrace their spirit of innovation and pave your path in the world of songwriting.
Lesson 5: Learn to Iterate, Evaluate, and Improve
Writing a great song isn't a one-time event—it's a relentless process of iteration, evaluation, and refinement.
Songwriting is like sculpting from marble—you start with a rough block (your initial idea), and the iterative process of chipping away, evaluating, and refining eventually reveals the masterpiece within.
The Importance of Self-Reflection in Songwriting
No matter how many songs you write, there's always room for growth.
Self-reflection and critique are essential for improving your skills and staying sharp as a songwriter.
Techniques for Effective Self-Evaluation
- Keep a songwriting journal: Document your progress, thoughts, and challenges to gain insights into your strengths and areas for improvement.
- Get feedback from trusted peers or mentors: Honest, constructive feedback can provide valuable perspective and help you hone your craft.
Strategies for Continuous Improvement
- Identify areas of weakness: Once you know where you need improvement, create targeted practice plans to address those issues.
- Set long-term development goals: Establish milestones and benchmarks to measure your progress and stay motivated.
These five life-changing lessons in songwriting will help you develop a consistent, fearless approach to your craft.
So, go ahead and dive into the world of songwriting with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
Remember, there's a prolific songwriter within you waiting to be unleashed.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I build a consistent songwriting habit?
Begin by setting realistic daily or weekly goals and establishing a regular writing routine. Then, utilize the Tiny Habits method to make small, manageable changes that accumulate over time.
2. How can I improve my songwriting without waiting for inspiration?
Focus on building discipline and creative resilience by committing to regular writing sessions, even when inspiration feels scarce. Practice prompts and exercises can help spark new ideas.
3. What are some techniques for effective self-evaluation?
Keep a songwriting journal to track your progress and gather feedback from trusted peers or mentors. Use these insights to identify areas of weakness and create targeted practice plans.
4. How can I make my songwriting practice more enjoyable?
Implement Tiny Habits into your routine by setting small, achievable goals and rewarding yourself for each success. Experiment with different techniques and styles to keep your creative process fresh and engaging.
5. What are some examples of rule-breaking songwriters?
Artists like David Bowie, Radiohead, and Björk have defied expectations and achieved great success by challenging conventional songwriting wisdom. Embrace their spirit of innovation and forge your unique path in the world of music.