All About Songwriting

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Month: October 2012

Songwriting – It’s All About The Process

Today I came across an article written by Krylyn Peters who runs songwritingtherapy.com outlining her own songwriting process and what it means to her.

What really interested me about this article was that from reading it I found that she had a very similar stance on the process of writing songs as I have.

About the concept of a songwriting process she writes…

“Process is the journey. It’s about keeping our eyes on the goal but not allowing our focus to be so all-or-nothing, tunnel-vision, all-consuming, that we forget what’s going on around us. It’s about honoring ourselves and our vision for the future at the same time. And it can be a real challenge.”

Here is Krylyn’s full article below. Enjoy 🙂


Songwriting Therapy 101 – It’s All About The Process
By Krylyn Peters

With songwriting, there is often an outcome or finished product called a song but the joy of songwriting for me is in what happens during the writing process. Ideas come, seemingly from no source (or maybe THE source), and flow through me.

I just let it happen.

I get in touch with feelings and thoughts I didn’t know were there, or that were buried or hidden just out of my reach. It is the one area of my life I am routinely not a perfectionist. I don’t expect too much from myself and I allow myself to go with the flow.

When inspiration strikes, I let it carry me where it wants to go. Sometimes it’s a long journey, sometimes short, and sometimes it turns and takes me in another direction.

Often, I can sit down and write the lyrics and melody of a song within 30 minutes and other times, I get a verse or a phrase written and the flow stops. Maybe the song isn’t ready to go further at all, it was just a quick expression and now it’s over.

Sometimes, I’ll look at it a few days, weeks, months, or years later and the rest of the song flows and gets finished. The point is that I don’t force it. I let the process happen and know that whatever is meant to be will be.

But it took me a long time to figure out that the process was the key.

I remember getting frustrated when inspiration didn’t come when, where, and how I wanted. I longed for the finished song and cursed any interruptions in getting me there.

Interruptions like the obligation of going to a job, or being somewhere at a certain time, or the phone ringing, a knock at the door, my stomach growling, or any number of other things. I just wanted to get through the process and was content to pay little attention to what was going on around me.

Sound familiar?

So often, our society is bent on outcome – realised goals, acquired possessions, tangible evidence of success, doing whatever it takes to get the job done but often, we go after the outcome at the expense of ourselves.

We can lose sight of what’s important, lose sleep, skip meals, avoid friends and family, not take care of ourselves. In other words, compromise our physical and mental health…

All for the sake of a goal.

Process is the journey. It’s about keeping our eyes on the goal but not allowing our focus to be so all-or-nothing, tunnel-vision, all-consuming, that we forget what’s going on around us. It’s about honouring ourselves and our vision for the future at the same time. And it can be a real challenge.

Are you outcome or process focused? If you have a to-do list a mile long, rarely take breaks, eat on the run, multi-task, don’t schedule time for yourself, and are challenged by taking good care of yourself, chances are you are more focused on the outcomes, or goals, in your life.

If you routinely schedule time for yourself, don’t get too bothered by detours and changes in plans, rest when you need to rest, and make self care a priority, then you are likely a person who is focused more on the process, or journey, of your life.

So which one are you? The good news is you don’t have to stay stuck on either side. Life often changes course and there’s always an opportunity to shift the way you live your life.

Being aware is always the first step in any healing journey. The next step is doing something about it. Here’s some tips you might try to get less focused on your goal and more focused on your journey…

1. Let go of your perfection and remember…done is better than perfect.
2. If things aren’t working smoothly, or flowing easily, let them go and focus on something else.
3. Honour yourself by taking small breaks throughout the day. Stretch, change your scenery, or get outside for some fresh air.


About The Author

Krylyn Peters runs a successful website that deals with songwriting as a therapeutic tool  and if you’re interested in learning more about using creative ways to help keep you in the process (rather than outcome) of your life, she invites you to get your free copy of “How to Use Music and Sound for Healing” at songwritingtherapy.com.

Learn about the healing benefits of music, sound, and songwriting.


Those are my feelings exactly. Allowing yourself to be receptive to the muse through mastering your creative process is the best way to write more songs, be true to yourself and your own path plus, balance what life has to offer you all at the same time.

Are you outcomes or process focussed? How do you write your songs? What process do you use to write songs and create without prejudice?

The above article certainly has given me a few things to think about.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

The Benefits Of Performing At An Open Mic For Songwriters

An Open Mic is a great example of a healthy grassroots independent music industry at work.

According to Wikipedia, an Open Mic is…

“…a live show where audience members may perform at the microphone. Usually, the performers sign up in advance for a time slot with the host or master of ceremonies.”

Some people love them and some people don’t, but there’s no denying that the open mic is an invaluable part of the music industry as a whole.

Personally I have the pleasure of running and Open Mic or two over the years in my hometown of Adelaide and in that time, I’ve realised that as a songwriter, an Open Mic is much, much more than just a place to play. In fact, performing regularly at Open Mics is a brilliant way of gaining new fans, selling more CD’s, expanding your mailing list and generally increasing your profile by getting in front of peoples faces more often without overtaxing the goodwill of your friends and family.

An Open Mic is like speed dating for songwriters. A three song audition in front of potential new fans

Here are some benefits to playing at an Open Mic if you’re a songwriter…

1. Networking – Open Mics are a great networking opportunity for songwriters, performers and musicians of all experience and skill levels. Everyone gets together in one place with music as a common bond and this allows magic to happen.

2. Fun – It’s a great night out in a relaxed, performer-friendly environment with performers and punters alike listening to music performed by anyone and everyone. A mixed bag of good and improving performances. You can feel comfort zones being shattered.

3. Road Test – You can road-test your new material as it is being written (even works in progress if you are daring) and get great feedback from your peers

4. Collaborate – As other singer/songwriters are present you can easily find a songwriting partner or two.

5. Showcase – It’s an opportunity to perform your songs in from of an attentive, respectful crowd in which you can promote other shows, get names on a mailing list and/or sell product.

(If you have a band that you are starting and you want to get the vibe happening before your first gig, an Open Mic is perfect for this)

6. Recruit – If you are looking for other band members to perform your songs with you then networking at an open mic should be one of the first things to do on your list.

7. Audition – Most open mic venues have music on other nights so consider your performance an audition for a gig on another night. You never know, you might get asked back to play on another night

Well, thats seven extra benefits of performing at an Open Mic for songwriters. Can you think of any more?

Until next time, keep on writing

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting