How To Make Writing Songs An Everyday Routine
Want to get better at writing songs? Make writing a part of your everyday routine. Make it a part of who you are. How do you do that?
Establish Me Time
Set aside a certain amount of time each day to write. Pick the time of day you are at your most creative. Make it the same time every day.
Make sure everyone else knows that this is your time. You are not to be disturbed. After a while friends and family members will get the message.
This is the best way to improve upon anything in your life, including songwriting.
Even thirty minutes a day can go a long way toward becoming a better songwriter. Because when we do something regularly, it is always on our minds.
Don't Let Yourself Say "Not Today"
There are days when I don't feel like writing songs. And I must admit that I don't write every day. But on the days that I don't write, I work on recording tracks for one of my songs. (Luckily I have a backlog of songs yet to be recorded.)
I'm okay with this because I am still doing something toward fulfilling my musical goals.
But most of the time I do force myself to write something, even when I don't want to.
We can come up with hundreds of reasons why we should not write today:"There's not enough time today."
"I have more 'important' things to do today."
"I'm stuck for ideas today."
"I'm too tired to write today."
"No one really wants to hear the crap I was going to write today!"
Sound familiar? That last one is a personal favourite!
Writer's block and self-pity aside, you can always find time to write something. Even if it's only a couple of lines. A couple of lines a day goes a long way.
When you write every day you truly are a songwriter.
The Twenty Minute Deal
Sometimes I'll play a little game with myself. When I feel that I don't have enough time to write I'll say, "I really don't have much time but I guess I could spare twenty minutes."
What's twenty minutes, right?
I'll sit at my computer, and open the song I've been working on. (I never leave it in plain sight, because I can't stand the idea of anyone else peering at my half-baked lyrics!)
I'll look at the clock and promise myself I won't get up or do anything else for twenty minutes.
Nine times out of ten I end up sitting there for well over twenty minutes. And I have contributed something new to the song.
Even if it's just a few words.
Then I congratulate myself. This is very important. We songwriters are sensitive souls, and often feel the need to validate what we do.
Even if I write nothing during those twenty minutes, I still congratulate myself on a job well done. Why? Because I kept my promise with myself.
I sat there and worked on my song. Which brings me to my next little nugget of wisdom:
Even when we are not writing songs we are writing songs!
The Subconscious Songwriter
Even when we're mowing the lawn or doing the laundry, our subconscious is working on our song.
We may not even be aware of it, but on some level we are always writing. That's why some of our best ideas seem to come out of the blue.
Hasn't this happened to you before?:
You've been working on a song for weeks. It's pretty good, except you can't find a way to wrap up your chorus lyric in a way that makes you say "Yes! That's it!"
You may have even begun to think this song will never be finished. Maybe it's time to let it go and move on.
Then one day (out of the blue), "Eureka!" It hits you. The perfect lyric, boiled down to say exactly what you've been trying to say for weeks!
You weren't even working on the song. Or so you thought. You thought you were taking out the garbage.
This has happened to me so many times, I know it must have happened to you too.
So you can relax a bit, in the knowledge that your subconscious is always at work writing songs. But do try to do some regular conscious writing as often as you can. Preferably daily.
Insist upon your me time!
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