If you have a songwriting link that you want me to check or, you have a question about one of the above links either comment below or, contact me and we can have a frank and robust discussion about it (as they say in politics).
I also think she’s saying that we also need to be brave enough to walk along paths less travelled and be prepared to experience inconvenient tangents and happy accidents in our quest for new songwriting ideas.
I enjoyed this article very much and found myself nodding my head in agreement while at the same time, feeling vindicated that my views on the infinite and sacred nature of songwriting ideas had resonated with someone else.
What are your views on this matter? Do you think that songwriting ideas reside in the spaces in between and are waiting to be channelled?
In a recent post on my personal blog, I talked about my habit for hoarding information as a means of procrastination to the point where my Evernote account has over 32000 links on various topics of interest (songwriting being one of them) to be read at a later date.
These links have accumulated over time because I have a morning ritual of scanning all of the RSS feeds I subscribe to (using a site called Feedly) and bookmarking anything of value to be read later.
Now, I definitely bookmark more information than I could ever hope to use in my blog writing but at the same time I don’t want to delete information unless I can find a way to use it.
Hence I’m starting a new initiative called This Week In Songwriting.
Put simply, This Week In Songwriting is a series of once-a-week posts full of interesting songwriting links that I find during the week that I want to share with you. I’ll be posting every Friday with the links starting from the previous Saturday.
I want to kick things off with a special first instalment of This Week In Songwriting with links that I’ve found from Tuesday, January 1st until Friday, January 11th.
In the meantime, here is the very first This Week In Songwriting…
This Week In Songwriting #01 – W/E Friday, January 11th, 2019
Well, I hope you enjoy looking through the above links. If there are any questions you may have or, you want to start a discussion about one of the links then feel free to contact me and we’ll take it from there.
Now that we are fast approaching the end of 2018, it’s time to really start focussing on your songwriting resolutions for 2019.
I’ve put together a list of possibilities to consider when working out what your songwriting goals are for the new year.
Write more Seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? Make the time to write more songs, blog posts, short stories, poems, journal entries even three pages of automatic writing as suggested by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way…
Make part of your daily routine at least 30 minutes to do something remotely writing-centric and the writing habit will become second nature in no time.
Play more This could mean play your instrument of choice more or, even an instrument you’re not familiar with. This (playing an unfamiliar instrument) alone leads to an increase in songwriting ideas.
It can also mean play in the child-like creative sense, being open to have some fun explore where a songwriting tangent can take you. It may require you to get your hands dirty to keep your creative mind challenged.
Creativity is supposed to be fun.
Practise more A songwriting routine that has an element of disciplined instrument practise or song rehearsal time in it can be very fruitful indeed. There have been many a time where a song rehearsal session turns into a songwriting session thanks to a happy accident. When this happens run with it until you can’t run no more.
Read more To become better at writing lyrics you need to immerse yourself into the written word and let’s be honest… We are all guilty in some way of not reading enough.
Read more books, poetry, stories, whatever you can lay your hands on. Immerse your own imagination into the imagination of another person and see what songs can come out of that combination.
Revise more Now is always the perfect time to go through your songwriting ideas archive, your works in progress folder or your pile of old lyrics and revise them with a fresh set of eyes, ears, heart and imagination. Perhaps the passage of time will spark some new songwriting ideas from the old.
Plan more Planning and organising your songwriting time and your songwriting space will eventually give you the freedom to create as you’ve eliminated aspects of worry that an unorganised person would have to deal with.
Personally I believe that the planning and organising component of your songwriting process allows all of the other “fun” stuff to flow much more effectively.
Record more For me, the last two years have been one of the most productive for me as I had used that time to learn as much as I can about recording my music in my own home recording studio which has allowed me to record my songs and my songwriting ideas in a more professional environment.
Now I’m not saying that you have to go out and spend the money building a home recording studio but having something in place where the recording of a songwriting idea is in easy reach is very important to your overall productivity as a songwriter.
Release more Whether it be putting your songs onto a distribution platform like BandCamp or, uploading your songwriting demos to SoundCloud, releasing your music online for others to listen to and comment on is so very important as a songwriter.
We write songs so that can be heard don’t we? Well, put them out there and see what the world has to say about them.
Network more Whether you’re a performing songwriter or not, getting yourself out there and networking with other songwriters and other like minded songwriting and music industry folk is essential for your songwriting career.
You can do this with your local songwriting association or, you can join a few of the online songwriting forums or social media groups out there. Introduce yourself, make yourself known and you never know, you might just make some new friends.
Relax more Sometimes if you do too much of one thing you might stress yourself out and songwriters block may creep in the picture. Make sure you block out some time to do nothing or, at the very least something not songwriting related. Maybe take some time out to concentrate on your breathing and meditate, go for a walk or, find a nice corner and read a book.
Exercise more Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy life… Nothing gets the creative juices flowing more than feeling good about yourself and the world around you. Feeling this way makes you want to put in the work needed to make your songwriting career grow.
Personally, I need to take a leaf out of my own book and exercise more as I know I’m more productive when I do.
Collaborate more The natural byproduct of networking more is that you’ll find other songwriters who will want to collaborate with you.
Embrace these collaboration opportunities with open arms and relish in the fact that some different songs than what you’re used to writing will be created from the experience. Two (or more) heads are better than one when it comes to writing songs sometimes.
Listen more Probably one of the most important skills that a songwriter must have at their disposal is the ability to “actively listen” to the world around them. I’m not talking about “hearing” the sounds of the world around you. I’m talking about “listening” to the world. There is a huge difference between hearing and listening.
Make 2019 a year of cultivating the habit of listening. When you are still, really listen to the world as if you’re trying to internalise the sounds inside of you.
When in a conversation with someone allow them to fully express what they want to say without interruption. Really listen to what they have to say while they’re talking and don’t succumb to the temptation of thinking what you’re going to say next.
Only by really listening will you fully understand the world in which you write your songs about.
What activity on the list above do you relate to and want to expand on the most in 2019? Is there anything that I have missed out on? If so, let me know so I can write about it in future blog posts.
I want to wish everyone a safe and creatively prosperous 2019. May it be everything that you want it to be and more.
As songwriters, we need to be eternally vigilant to any opportunity that might arise which enables us to replenish our repository of songwriting ideas.
When we talk about a songwriting process though, we generally talk about engaging in a set of activities that is separate to our lives in general. We live our lives and in between that we have to make the time to write songs then, we start living life again.
My question to you is… Why limit your songwriting process only to activities where you have to make time? Why can’t you make your whole life become one continuous songwriting process?
By doing this, you create a day-to-day life/songwriting ideas loop where one activity (songwriting) can exist within another (day-to-day life) at the same time
Think about it for a moment… When we make the most out of our lives, the experiences gained will make great songs but in turn, when we also write songs about what is happening around us it helps us make the most out of our lives.
Looking at our lives as one continuous and never-ending songwriting process forces us to pay closer attention to what we do in and with our lives and be more mindful it.
I think it was Socrates who once said that “… an unexamined life is a life not worth living.”
There is no reason why you couldn’t find songwriting ideas through the activities that make up your day to day life which will in turn inspire you to find more songwriting ideas.
Imagine your life becoming one big ideas loop. That would be very cool indeed.
This concept would only truly work if first of all, you internalise the habit of being vigilant to any songwriting opportunity that comes along and secondly, to have a means to record the songwriting idea as it happens if it cannot be worked on straight away.
It’s all about being present in the NOW, and with that in mind, I’ve now got a song to write.
The epiphany was described by the author Robert Peters in this manner…
As I moved through the museum, listening to audio, reading and looking at various exhibits, I started jotting down aspects of Roald Dahl’s writing process.
It proved to be truly inspirational, and I discovered a few elements of his process that are as important for digital writers and publishers today as they were for him when he was writing his books more than 50 years ago.
The six tips Robert listed are as follows…
Capture every idea
Create a place to work
Create a routine
Use the right tools
Perfect your writing
Do the work
My favourite tip is the last one “Do the work” as it encapsulates all of the other tips into one phrase.
When you write a song, you’re doing the work, you’re getting on with the job and you’re not waiting for the muse to knock at your door. If you don’t do the work, you don’t write any songs.
Seems very obvious but there has been a time in every songwriters journey where doing the work has been the least obvious thing to be doing.
I think Picasso said it best when he said that…
Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working
Read the article 6 Tips for Beating the Blank Pageand have a think about how these tips relate to your songwriting process. Do you relate to them? Can you add to the list?
As songwriters, we all need a bit of inspiration every now and then to keep our songwriting process moving along which is why a two part series of Songwriting Inspiration Tips from the Bandzoogle Blog gives us all a timely reminder that songwriting inspiration can be manufactured through disciplined activity rather than just waiting for it to appear from the ether.
Part 1 of the Songwriting Inspiration Tips series starts off with the following statement…
When you’re suffering from writer’s block, the solution can come in many forms, including de-stressing, self-care, external influence, or some sort of inspiration. For the songwriter, two types of inspiration can help: internal or external (sometimes both!)
The article goes on to list internal and external activities that you can do to generate songwriting inspiration for yourself while Part 2 gives us…
…non-traditional ways to inspire hit songs by using numbers, letters or sounds.
Both articles are definitely well worth the read if you’re looking for ways to increase your ability to generate songwriting ideas. I know I certainly got a lot out of it.
I just typed “songwriting tips” into Google just now and I was staggered by the amount of search results on offer. There were 30.9 million of them to go through.
If you go through the websites on the first couple of pages of Google you’ll see a wide range of songwriting tips mentioned however, after a while you’ll notice that the songwriting tips all start sounding the same.
The article acknowledges that a lot of songwriting tips online sound the same but in regards to their songwriting tips the article goes on to say…
But these tips are the special ones. The ones that put you and your ideas first. The ones that open up some time to really focus, experiment and make your songs work.
I’ll be honest, the article title grabbed me first and foremost. “How ridiculous are these tips?” I asked myself, but once I started to read the article I realised that I hadn’t seen these songwriting tips before.
I started to get excited about how I could incorporate these tips into my own songwriting process.