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Issue No. 009

Welcome to the Inspired Song Alerts Newsletter!

Each month I'll try to bring you fresh and informative ideas on songwriting, recording, and music publishing.

I guess you'll have to decide whether or not the ideas I bring you are indeed fresh and informative!

If you decide it's worth the read, please tell your friends! And if you haven't already, subscribe to Inspired Song Alerts here.

And don't forget to sign up for the Inspired Songwriting Blog, to keep up with any changes to Inspired Songwriting Tips. There just may be some!

In This Issue...

1. Tips For Coming Up With New Song Ideas

2. Inspired Quote of the Month
A little shot of inspiration to keep you going through those dry spells!

Tips For Coming Up With New Song Ideas

Coming up with new song ideas has always been the most difficult aspect of songwriting for me. When I have some idea of what I want to write about it's pretty easy to get into the flow. Apply a few good songwriting "rules" and I'm off!

But what to write about?

I have spent countless hours sitting in front of my very blank notebook, or empty computer screen. So many times I have wondered if I have written my last song.

I'm not sure I would call this writer's block, because when I have an idea I can usually turn it into a pretty good song. The trouble is coming up with an idea in the first place.

Here are a few methods that seem to work for me:

Go for a walk
I have said this before. I often find the best thing for me to do is to put the notebook and computer aside and go for a walk. Something about the rhythm of walking stirs up new ideas for me. It gives me a chance to clear my head. Then I'm ready to fill it up with something else!

This also works for writer's block, by the way. If I'm stuck on a line of lyric or melody, the walk generally does the trick.

Read the news
If I insist on sitting in front of my computer, perhaps I'll read a couple of news stories. I've gotten a lot of great ideas this way. It works especially well if you can make it personal. Put yourself in the story. Make it about you and/or your friends. The Bee Gees' "New York Mining Disaster 1941" is a great example of this technique.

Then again, it can also work by simply giving the facts as Gordon Lightfoot did in "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". This song was reportedly inspired by a Newsweek article.

Listen to some gossip!
If I'm around town, in the grocery store, or at the bank I listen to people's conversations. I know, I'm so bad! It's amazing what you can pick up listening to one side of someone's cell phone conversation!

I listen to young couples' arguments, old couples' bickerings and little kids' imaginations. An hour of public eavesdropping can be worth ten hit songs!

These are just a few ideas that work for me. Try them out and come up with a few of your own. There is no shortage of great ideas in the world!

(Especially when you listen to other people's problems!)

Inspired Quote Of The Month

"I don't even know if I can take credit for writing "Cliffs of Dover"...it was just there for me one day...literally wrote in five minutes...kind of a gift from a higher place that all of us are eligible for. We just have to listen for it and be available to receive it" - Eric Johnson

Thanks for reading this issue of Inspired Song Alerts. If you liked what you read, please recommend it to your friends! They can sign up here.

Until next time, happy writing!

All the best,
Richie Gilbert

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