“Everyone has at least five great albums in them” – Chris Martin, Coldplay

I remember seeing an interview with Chris Martin and Will Champion from Coldplay on the TV a little while ago and the thing that interested me most about that interview was the discussion about their songwriting process and philosophy behind it all.

Chris Martin said that…

“…the world is an amazing place for many different reasons and that he couldn’t understand why songwriters felt that they have nothing to write about.”

He also went on to say that

“…everyone has a voice, and has a story to tell about something.”

Bravo Chris, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Developing a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around you is one of the keys to keeping your songwriting process fresh and inspiring.

Imagine what it would be like if everything that you perceived, inspired you enough to write down how you felt for the sole purpose of sharing your feelings with everyone else, without the pressure of having some sort of end result happening or, the need of approval from an external source to justify your existence.

It would be a feeling of liberation.

This is what happens when you develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around you. I know it’s a big ask but it’s not an impossible thing to do.

Have you noticed how young children look at the world. It’s like they are experiencing every moment for the first time.

That is the feeling I’m talking about.

In developing this skill, the first thing to do is to understand the notion of creativity.

Dictionary.com defines the word creativity as

“…the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods and interpretation.”

To create something means that you cause something to exist or bring into being from nothing.

This is an amazing concept, what wonderful pieces of work we human beings are.

Did you know however that as human beings, this is a talent we all have?

Developing wonder and curiosity in your life takes a lot of mindfulness and practice. You can start by asking yourself the question “what am I feeling right now?” and start writing it down, all the feelings and their descriptions.

While you are doing listen to what is going on inside your mind and I bet you are hearing things like:

  • What a stupid question to ask
  • This is a waste of time
  • This doesn’t mean anything
  • You could be doing something else
  • This is not important

Stop! You are hearing the very reason there are less songs in the world than there could be.

The Inner Critic.

Now that you have acknowledged the existence of your inner critic keep going with the exercise and take note of the chatter getting more and more intense.

Once you feel you can’t stand the chatter any longer, stop what you’re doing and have a look at what’s in front of you. It might look like incoherent nonsense or, it might be the beginnings of a brand new songwriting idea.

Either way, you asked yourself a question and your own innate sense of wonderment and curiosity enabled you to find the answer.

By repeating this exercise in your everyday life, in this form of mindfulness you’ll be able to look at everything that you perceive as a creative possibility of existence from nothing.

If I try to put all this in some sort of formula it might look something like this.

(wonder + curiosity + questions) + action = creativity

There are an infinite amount of songwriting ideas in you and out there for you to write about, all you’ve got to do is to get out of your own way let yourself do it. You do have a story to tell.

What’s your story hiding deep inside of you, waiting to be unleashed into the world?

Write a song about it…

Until next time, happy writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting