Songwriter Habit #1 – Write Everyday
It’s a hard thing for songwriters to hear, but highly effective songwriters practice writing everyday. This is hard to hear because it implies that getting good at songwriting requires dedication and discipline. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how writing everyday us a habit necessary to become a great songwriter.
This article is a summarised transcript of the final point in our video “7 Habits of Highly Effective Songwriters’’. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.
Why Write Everyday?
As much as we’d like to believe that The Muses will just drop the perfect idea for a song into our lap, that’s simply not true. We ourselves must go out and search for inspiration, no matter how difficult it may be.
Writing everyday allows us to build a routine. Similarly to athletes who work out everyday to build their body, songwriters must write everyday to hone our skills. Only by practicing regularly can we develop the skills that are required for us to write songs consistently.
If you’d like to discover more ways you could improve your songwriting, download this free PDF eBook entitled “14-Day Songwriting Challenge”:
Examples of Songwriters Who Write Everyday
- Leonard Cohen:
The famous “Hallelujah” songwriter once said “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work all right. Those who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
- Nick Cave:
Well-known for his prolific output over decades, Nick Cave has said “Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything. I go into my office every day that I’m in Brighton and work – whether I feel like it or not is irrelevant.”
- Neil Finn:
On the topic of writing everyday, Neil Finn has said “You have a few days when things click and it seems easy all of a sudden – writing. But most days, you actually have to put the hours in to get through the embarrassment of hearing your own ideas in their raw state.”
Challenges to Writing Everyday
There are multiple challenges that we will face as songwriters when we try to write everyday. People often complain that they have no time to write in a day. In actuality, songwriters don’t realise that even 10 – 15 min is more than enough time to develop a song. If you chip away at a song a little bit at a time, you will eventually have completed it.
Another issue regularly described is cringing too much at your ideas in their raw state. Unfortunately, when you write often, you will inevitably write things that aren’t great. Part of being a songwriter is understanding that you have to allow the bad things to be written so that you can eventually write the good parts.
Conclusion: Songwriter Habit #1 – Write Everyday
It’s important to not let perfectionism get in the way of us practicing everyday. If you focus on the process and creating good repeatable habits, you’ll be able to more consistently write good songs. Remember, there’s no such thing as sudden inspiration – only hard work, discipline and practice.
Level up your songwriting with five radically practical exercises used by professional songwriters around the world: