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Tag: blank page

Songwriting – The Blank Page Is Your Friend

Every time we write a song we start off with a blank page.

It sits there and waits patiently for us to pick up our pen and pour out our songwriting ideas from our hearts and minds onto its surface however, a blank page can mean one of two things to a songwriter.

It can either be something to be fearful of, a scary journey into the unknown, the graveyard of yet another “bad” song or, it can be a doorway to infinite songwriting idea possibilities.

Let me ask you this.

Are you free to create whatever you want, whenever you want without second guessing, self-censorship or prejudice on your part? Or, are you a songwriter that feels shackled by the belief that you must obtain some sort of quantifiable result every time you put your pen to paper?

Which headspace would you rather be in?

I know that I’m asking a lot of questions here but as songwriters, this is something we face every time we sit down to write a song and as our answers to these questions are automatic and unconscious, we wonder why at times we don’t write anything.

This is when we start blaming things like songwriters block.

So, try this the next time you sit down to write a song. Look at that blank page in front of you as your friend and playmate.

You see, just the very thought of sitting down to write a song means that there is possibility that the muse will knock on your door and ask if you can come out to play.

Remind yourself that writing a song can be one or more of these three experiences:

  • A linear experience – You come across a possible song title that jumps out at you and after writing the first line of the first verse, a first draft is suddenly completed from start to finish.
  • A puzzle solving exercise – You take a piece here, a song title there, a bit of a verse here and a half written phrase there and, after discovering the common thread that connects everything, a song is eventually completed.
  • Like incubating an egg – You finish writing a chorus but find you can’t go any further however, after leaving the half finished song for a period of time something triggers in your mind and the song magically completes itself.

Sometimes you start writing a song from the beginning and work forwards, sometimes you start a song from the middle and work outwards and sometimes you start writing at the end and work backwards.

When it comes to songwriting, it doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you start somewhere.

Just remember, a blank page is not proof that you’ve not written a song. It’s merely the doorway to an infinite world of songwriting idea possibilities and all you need to do is have the courage to walk through it, regardless of the outcome.

So get out of your own way and allow yourself to be free to create.

Okay, how is that blank page looking now?

Until next time, just keep writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

Six 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