If you don’t already write songs regularly, then it’s safe to say that you don’t yet have a songwriting habit. Because if you did, you would feel compelled to write songs every day and perhaps all day long.
We could talk about motivation or anchoring overwhelming desire to the thought of writing songs, but one sure fire way to develop a consistent songwriting practice is to make it an unconscious habit.
Here are 5 tips to help you develop the habit of writing songs.
- Write nothing but song titles
If the thought of writing a chorus, a bridge, and multiple verses is overwhelming to you, then just write some simple song titles. For song title inspiration, read my post on The Astonishing Hit-Making Magic of Song Titles.
- Write for the garbage can without feeling guilty
The 80/20 rule will tell you that 20 percent of your writing will make the cut, 80 percent won’t. If you write 100 words a day, 20 of them might be useable. So if you need 100 words to complete your song, you need to write around 500 words. That’s why I write for the garbage can.
- Schedule songwriting appointments
Think of something you do everyday that requires little effort or self-motivation, like eating when you’re hungry. You probably don’t need to schedule your meals in a calendar. You eat when your body tells you that you’re hungry. That’s the kind of habit you’re looking to develop with your songwriting. It’s automatic. But to get to that level, it might be useful to schedule your songwriting sessions and never break them. Keep it up for thirty days and see if you don’t get “hunger pangs” when you haven’t written anything for more than a few hours.
- Edit older songs
Sometimes tinkering with an old song feels better than starting a song from scratch. If that feels like the case for you, then follow your desire to tinker. You’ll still be exercising your songwriting chops. Now, if you have an aversion to writing new songs you’ll need to look into your reluctance. But you can do that after you’ve developed a strong songwriting habit. Who knows, it might just disappear on its own.
- Transcribe your favorite songwriter’s songs
Rewrite the lyrics to your favorite lyricist in long hand. Pretend you’re in their head and creating the song from scratch. Transcribe melodies, hooks, chord changes, anything to immerse yourself in the art and craft of songwriting.
As with all tips, they don’t work until you do them. Go schedule some time to write now!
(Inspired by Freelance Folder)