You know that horrible, disheartening feeling you get when you’re lying in bed at the end of the day and realize how long it’s been since you’ve actually sat down and made time for songwriting? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Life happens – it can be really hard to make writing songs a priority when there’s so much else going on. Whether it’s a full-time job, your family, school, or any other commitment that seems to be eating away at your songwriting time, these tips will help you learn how to squeeze it in, even on the most hectic of days!
1. Always have a way to jot down ideas, no matter where you are
Inspiration can strike at any moment! Keep a small notebook with you or use a note-taking app on your smartphone to jot down every songwriting idea that comes to your brain as soon as you think of it. It may not be much at first, but having it written down will allow for easy access to expand your idea at another time. Plus, it’s always so much easier to get yourself focused and motivated for a songwriting session when you’ve already got an arsenal of songwriting seeds to work from rather than staring at a blank page!
2. Record melodic ideas and inspiration on your phone
Now that basically everyone has a smartphone, there’s no excuse not to record melodic ideas with it. Is the rhythm of the rain pattering outside your office inspiring a new melody? Pull out your phone and record the melody as a voice memo! Similar to the previous tip, having a recording of your idea will make your next sit-down writing session that much easier and quicker to start.
3. Keep yourself accountable by turning it into a game
A good friend of mine is a fellow songwriter, and she and I share this struggle to find time for songwriting. We’ve turned songwriting into a game while we’re in busy seasons of our lives. We’ll take turns writing sections of a song – for instance, I’ll start with the verse, she’ll write the pre-chorus, I’ll write the chorus, and so on… until we have a full song! It’s a fun, collaborative way to keep up with songwriting, and having that social support system adds a bit of accountability, especially if you give yourselves deadlines for writing each section.
Pro tip: Songwriters from all over the world are always looking to collaborate on SongwriterLink, so by joining for free, you can very easily find songwriters to do this with! Use SongwriterLink’s built-in messaging system to send each other song sections, or exchange email addresses if you prefer.
4. Make songwriting a small daily commitment – even just five minutes
If you’re serious about becoming a better songwriter, it truly is important to write every day. No matter how busy your day gets, everyone can afford to wake up just five minutes earlier and do a few songwriting exercises. It won’t feel like that big of a commitment, but the more that songwriting becomes part of your routine, the easier your creativity will flow. As Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Have any other tips to add? Let us know in the comments below!