Write songs because you LOVE to write…because you enjoy the process. NOT because you think it can make you rich. That’s the wrong reason…tho it certainly can. ☺
Writing is a job…a tough job, but with amazing rewards. Everyone ask what inspires you to write. Well I answer, what doesn’t? Sometimes though, you just have to be present to win. Show up, get started, have discipline and before you know it, it becomes second nature.
1. Get a comfortable setting to write
As simple as it sounds, having a place to go where you can focus and be creative can be motivating. Even if it’s just a small desk and chair in a corner of your living room, the fact that you’ve dedicated it to creating can move you to work it! Don’t be afraid to pull out the songwriter’s best friends – rhyming dictionary, Thesaurus, a capo, pen and paper, laptop, etc. – all ready to go. I keep a guitar out all of the time, just in case I want to pick it up and play it. Same with my piano, I have it
2. Get a routine for being creative
Routine can be a good thing even for something as artistic and creative as songwriting. If, for example, you know that every day at 7pm, you’re going to write for half an hour, then you’re more likely to do it. They say it takes a few weeks of consciously making yourself do something before it becomes a habit. A daily time to write will go a long way towards the healthy habit of songwriting.
3. Write something every day…discipline
This can feel overwhelming but really isn’t. Sit down for 3 minutes even, or put a lyric idea down, or hum a melody into the phone. It doesn’t have to be a BIG DEAL to sit and write. No pressure and if you get into the habit to write something every day, you can get rid of the potential road blocks. You will always have somewhere to go.
4. Find projects needing songs
For some of us, sometimes the idea that you can write about anything is just too much freedom.
Create some challenges for yourself. Tell yourself you are going to work on something that has the same chords in the chorus and the verse. That will make you focus on possibly a stronger melody or unique rhythm changes. It also keeps it fun!
5. Find co-writers, more than one
Make an appointment! Stick with it! If someone is counting on you to show up and work, you’re more likely to make that happen. This is a good thing! Every writer can and will bring something new to the table. Look for their strengths, build on it. Having someone whose skills complement yours usually creates a stronger song. Co-writing itself can be scary, but don’t let it be…just be open and honest, say what you need to and never be worried about what the co-writer thinks. No such thing as a bad idea…they will usually lead to good ones.
6. Never throw away ANY idea
Sometimes it is great to start with a fresh idea…just feels good. But hey, don’t forget to check your old ideas or unfinished songs. Make SURE though, that it isn’t with another songwriter! That is a can of worms you do not want to open. One of the hardest things is starting with a blank page or no idea, so keep a list or file of lyrics and melodies. What might not fit your song now can fit another one later.