Songwriting requires tons of creativity and inspiration. Unfortunately, sooner or later you will get stuck and you’ll find it difficult to come up with something fresh. Discovering a muse, developing a songwriting routine, and learning how to expand your creativity will all be important in such moments.
As a songwriter, you will require a bit of assistance every now and then. Here’s how to boost your inspiration and make every single songwriting effort a success.
There’s no need to label an activity as a songwriting session in order to benefit from it.
Many creative individuals recognize the power of journaling. Make sure that you always have a notepad and a pen in your bag. Write about the small things that you notice, everything that happens to you during the day and the observations you make.
Some of your best ideas will occur when you’re not working actively. If you don’t record these fleeting thoughts, chances are that they’ll be lost. Trying to recall them, later on, will lack the original spark and freshness.
Journaling also allows the free flow of your thoughts. This is the power of doing a brainstorming session. Sit down in a park, breathe the fresh air in and allow yourself to write down fragments, sentences, and thoughts. The more you write, the deeper the exploration process is going to become.
Get in the Habit of Writing
Professional writers will tell you one thing – you have to practice in order to be successful.
Songwriting is pretty similar. You have to get in the habit of writing every single day. Most of these sessions will not produce masterpieces. Still, you will be playing with words and you will do some exploration.
Take 20 to 30 minutes per day to sit down and write song lyrics. Chances are that you will not complete a song the first time you do the exercise. In fact, you may need a week or even longer to get the job done. This exercise isn’t about the outcome itself. It is much more about focusing on the creative process, on making the words flow and putting your emotions on the paper.
You will notice that the more you write, the more fun you will be having with it.
Base Your Writing on Your Personal Experience
Some of the best songs in the history of mankind are based on true stories. Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams is based on the nostalgia he experienced for his childhood years. “Hey Jude” was written by Paul McCartney to show support to John Lennon’s son Julian during the divorce of his parents.
If you want to come up with lyrics that touch the souls of listeners, write from personal experience.
Topics and aspects of life that you’re passionate about will give a specific meaning to your lyrics. Otherwise, you risk coming up with something that appears to be superficial and shallow (even if the text itself sounds good).
In the beginning, writing about yourself may seem uncomfortable. You could be baring your soul to perfect strangers. Start with something small – there’s no need to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets. Still, the tone and the passion you have will be evident in the quality of the text.
Start with a Melody
For some songwriters, the process starts with a text. The music itself will be inspired by the lyrics. It’s also possible to turn the process around.
If you can’t find the inspiration to write, try to come up with a new melody or a rhythm.
Alternatively, you can just listen to music when you sit down to write. There’s enough evidence that such an approach can get the creative juices flowing. For some writers, music helps them find focus. Others need a musical background to improve their mood or get in a certain state of mind. Try out different styles and genres to see how they provoke changes in your lyric writing efforts.
Let Some Time Pass Before Continuing the Process
No matter how you approach songwriting, let some time pass before the lyric creation efforts and taking it a step further.
This rule applies to every writer under the sun. in the beginning, you will be emotionally invested in your creation. As a result, you’ll find it very difficult to spot shortcomings. Distancing yourself from the text you created and reviewing it after some time has passed will create enough distance to give you a better, more impartial view.
A final tip you may find beneficial is to collaborate with other musicians when possible. Every artist has their unique creative approach. You may find tons of inspiration from such partnerships. This is particularly true for singers and songwriters who feel stuck in a routine that is depriving them of fresh ideas. An outside perspective on your work can easily highlight opportunities that you’ve been oblivious to.
Having an easy-going, yet powerful approach on life, Laura Buckler is a highly-motivating freelance writer. Her articles keep people confident on their abilities. For more info and a different perspective on life, follow Laura on twitter.