All About Songwriting

Songwriting Tips, Ideas & Help In One Songwriting Resource

Category: Songwriters Block

Nine Ways To Stay Calm When Writing Songs Stresses You Out

We all know that sometimes life, stresses you out for many, many different reasons. This is particularly true when writing songs especially if you’re participating in a demanding songwriting challenge such as FAWM or RPM.

In an article on The Guardian website – Deep Breath, Cup Of Tea, Long Walk: Nine Ways To Stay Calm In A CrisisDr Mithu Storoni writes that…

…Your brain records things as you perceive them, not as they actually happen. So if you launch a colossal stress reaction every time someone nudges you on the train, or you read an annoying news headline, or discover you’ve run out of milk, your brain will record your day as having been inordinately stressful when in reality it was quite ordinary. Over time, an overactive emotional brain has trouble bouncing back.

This means that if you find yourself in the middle of a bout of songwriters block it probably means that you need to let go of some of that built up stress you have inside in which the cause of it could’ve come from anywhere.

The nine ways to stay calm in a crisis mentioned in the article are as follows…

  • Gentle morning exercise
  • Spend time with a friend
  • Start the day outside
  • Remember to breathe
  • Take control
  • Pour a brew
  • Immerse yourself in something else
  • Go for a walk
  • Write it down

The above list seems like common sense when you look at it however, I know from experience that common sense flies out the window once you find yourself in the middle of a stressful event such as songwriters block.

Anyways, check out Deep Breath, Cup Of Tea, Long Walk: Nine Ways To Stay Calm In A Crisis and see if you can answer this question…

“What things do you do to stay calm in a stressful situation?”

Right now, I’m going to get away from the computer and enjoy the rest of the weekend by going for a walk.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting


Original Article: ‘Deep breath, cup of tea, long walk’: nine ways to stay calm in a crisis | Life and style | The Guardian

5 Things To Do When You’re Stuck In A Creative Rut (Or Unmotivated)

There are many, many times where I’ve felt less than motivated or inspired to put pen to paper and write a song.

Most of the time, I’m able to get past the lack of motivation and exercise my songwriting muscle however, an article 5 Things To Do When You’re Stuck In A Creative Rut (Or Unmotivated) by Sam Matla on the EDMProd blog really put things into perspective for me.

In the article, Sam explains the phenomenon of a creative rut in this fashion…

You know, when you open up your DAW, you’re excited, ready to start a new track, but for some reason you just can’t get anything down! This often leads to unproductive sessions resulting in more frustration and can even cause a long lasting lack of motivation.

It’s annoying, it sucks, and it’s a nightmare for those on a regular release schedule. And unfortunately it’s almost inevitable.

Been there, done that but the five things that Sam mentions in the article are activities that I can see being really beneficial if I incorporated them into my own songwriting process.

  • Take some time out
  • Collaborate with others
  • Organise and prepare
  • Feed your mind
  • Set goals

These activities may seem like common sense however, if you’re like me, the desperation you feel whilst being in the middle of a creative rut makes it really, really easy for your brain to throw common sense out of the window and replace it with the dysfunctional fog of indecision.

I can really see that taking a deep breath and doing one or more activities from the above list would centre you enough to find your way out of the fog.

What do you do when you find yourself in the middle of a songwriters block? Do any of the above list resonate with you or, do you do your own thing to get yourself back on track?

Check out the original article here and if you want to share any of your songwriters block busting tips, feel free to let me know.

Until next time, just keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting


Original Link: 5 Things to do When You’re Stuck in a Creative Rut (Or Unmotivated)

6 Tips for Beating the Blank Page

I believe that songwriting tips, ideas and inspiration can come from anywhere. Especially in areas or disciplines that may not be directly related to writing songs.

A great example of this comes from an article I found on the blogging and freelance writing website Copyblogger called 6 Tips for Beating the Blank Page.

The article is the end result of an epiphany that the author received regarding writers block whilst visiting the Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre in England.

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 Page and have a think about how these tips relate to your songwriting process. Do you relate to them? Can you add to the list?

Let me know what you come up with.

Until next time, keep on writing

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting


Original Link: 6 Tips for Beating the Blank Page – Copyblogger

Songwriters Block – Creative Tricks To Beat the Blank Page

I find inspiration in people who are doing right now what I intend to be doing in the future. One such person who greatly inspires me for that very reason is Joyce Kettering.

She writes music to be licensed for media projects… Film, TV, games, any project that requires music. From what I can see, she doesn’t play live and she makes a good living from her music.

She runs two websites. The first being MadLass Music, her “label” as such where clients can go onto her site and license her music direct from her.

The second site is her songwriting and music licensing tips blog Creative And Productive which is fast becoming my new favourite site. online.

Joyce Kettering knows what she talking about, she walks the walk and talks the talk and when I came across her post titled Songwriters Block – Creative Tricks To Beat the Blank Page I immediately started to read it.

In the article Joyce outlines five creative “tricks” that work for her but what impressed me the most was the detail she put into describing how and why they work.

Under every trick she explains…

  • What it is
  • When you should try it
  • Why does it work

Setting it up this way made it so much easier to internalise the information at hand.

In describing Songwriters Block, Joyce says…

…songwriters block sucks. Being stuck in a rut sucks. It’s bad for the ego, bad for your confidence, bad for the enjoyment of life in general.

Couldn’t agree more. Check out Joyce’s article and if you have any thoughts regarding the article, let me know.

Until next time, keep on writing

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting


Here’s the original link: Songwriters Block – Creative Tricks To Beat the Blank Page

The Illusion Of Songwriting Perfection

Recently, I was chatting to a songwriter friend of mine about the pain he experiences while writing songs.

He said that he’s great at starting songs but lousy at finishing them (well, aren’t we all).

He also told me the main philosophy for his songwriting process is, “if the song is not perfect then the song isn’t worth finishing.”

WTF! No wonder he’s experiencing the pain of songwriters block.

I think that the concept of “if the song is not perfect then the song isn’t worth finishing” is something that’s more common among songwriters than we care to admit.

So, allow me to be a little blunt here. This struggle for songwriting perfection kills people.

It kills their creativity, kills their inspiration and sometimes (in extreme circumstances) the drive to perfection can kill a person physically.

There is a huge difference between being driven to write great songs and being driven to write perfect songs.

In my reply to his statement I said “…why don’t you try not to see songwriting as a means to an end (the hit song) but as a way of letting yourself go?”

As songwriters, how much pressure do we put yourselves under? A lot!

Is it worth it? NO!

The notion of songwriting perfection in anything is but a mere illusion. It’s created by the ego and massaged into existence by insecurity, jealousy, doubt, low self esteem and shame.

Songwriting should be a celebration of life, of letting yourself go, setting yourself free and playing around with your creativity. It’s not about reminding yourself how inadequate you are because you compare yourself needlessly to other songwriters.

Always remember that there’s not another one of you on this planet so therefore your experiences, your thoughts, your insights, your feelings, your dreams, your desires, your observations and the way that you question life, universe and everything around it are uniquely yours, and yours alone.

What does that mean? It means that…

1. There is no point in comparing yourself to others as there is no one else but you to compare yourself to in the first place

2. Being the unique creature that you are whatever you say is always very, very important.

The concept of perfection would only exist if there was something perfect to aspire to in the first place.

Now granted, there have been some amazing songs written in the past and there will be amazing songs that have not yet been written in the future, but none of those songs are “perfect” and they never, ever will be.

We, like our songwriting, are all works in progress.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

Songwriters Block – 11 Tips On How To Get You Unstuck

Songwriters Block… Every songwriter gets it at least once in their career.

It’s easy to find yourself in the midst of it and very difficult to get yourself out of the grips of it however, freedom from it can be achieved.

Songwriter, producer and keyboard player Michael Gallant through his article “Songwriting and Writer’s Block: 11 tips to help the songwriter get unstuck” seems to think so.

About songwriters block Michael writes…

“Creating a memorable song is rarely as easy as just humming a pretty melody and writing down some lyrics, though. And just like writers of prose or non-fiction, even the most successful songwriters hit creative walls.”

In his article Michael lists 11 tips that he’s collected through his own experiences and from a range of experienced songwriters that will help songwriters overcome their creative block.

They are:

1. Start with a title
2. Look and listen everywhere
3. Carry a notebook, voice recorder, or both
4. Keep unfinished ideas
5. Write a lot
6. Identify your own clichés
7. Keep your inner critic at bay
8. Ask for help
9. Write on a secondary instrument
10. Take a break
11. Use your favourite artists for inspiration

Of course the full descriptions and definitions of these tips are spelt out in Michael’s article however, my favourite tip is number four “Keep unfinished ideas.”

Doing this one thing has been the cornerstone of my own songwriting process and it’s something that I feel very passionate about.

Have a read of the full article here and while you’re doing that, have a think about your own songwriting process and the ways that you can improve it. If you have anything to share please feel free to let me know.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting