“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new” – Og Mandino
The above quote beautifully sums up what I would call a songwriters mindset, a powerful skill to master.
Just think about it, if songwriting is all about capturing aural snapshots of our lives and what’s happening around us then, to get the best out of our songwriting we have to develop a certain attitude towards our lives.
Let’s explore this further.
If we are to work at our chosen craft to the best of our ability, gathering songwriting ideas, refining our creative processes and perhaps gain some inspiration along the way then, we, as songwriters need to look at life in general differently to how others would see it.
I believe that there are three stages to writing a song.
1. Mindset – What this blog post is about
2. Process – The nuts and bolts writing of the song
3. Result – Song completed
The songwriters mindset is one of letting go of any preconceptions about the world around you and taking everything in at face value.
It’s about embracing life for what it is, a wonderfully personal human experience that’s different for everybody. Your songs need to be recorded/performed and shared with everyone.
Develop an almost obsessive yearning to experience as much of life as you possibly can (whether it be good or bad) so you can write a song about it.
It’s about not being afraid of what others might think and telling the world about your thoughts, feelings, observations, dreams, questions and answers. It’s all about facing your fear and doing it anyway as the well known cliche says.
Having a songwriters mindset is all about becoming a receiver for the songwriting ideas that are floating about in the ether and when you successfully receive, it’s about being open to what you have received.
“Songs are funny things, they wake you in the middle of the night and say “I go like this”. They control you until you’ve done the right thing by them.”
It’s about being more aware about what is happening in the world, what people are doing and saying and being prepared to write down what you feel, hear and see.
It’s about finding out what is the essence of you and attempting to put that onto paper so that no matter what you write it will always be from your own unique perspective.
I could go on and on and on but hey, it’s all about allowing ourselves to be a songwriter. Allowing ourselves to explore the grey areas of life and finding the light and shade.
Allowing ourselves to ask “what would happen if..?”
To develop and eventually master the songwriters mindset you have to question everything around you and nurture a childlike curiosity for the world.
As the beginning quote says “… never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.”
As we’ve started off a new year ask yourself this question “what does a songwriters attitude mean to me?” Then write it down because that will become your first songwriting resolution
Until next time, happy writing,
All About Songwriting