System #1 to Help You Make Time for Songwriting – Practice Daily
We received loads of responses from a survey we sent out to our subscribers asking “What’s your biggest challenge with songwriting?”. One of the most common responses was that it’s difficult to make time to get any songwriting done. In this article, we’ll discuss one of my systems to help you incorporate daily songwriting practice into your life.
This article is a summarised transcript of the first part in our video “How to Always Make Time for Songwriting – 3 Simple Systems”. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.
The Problem and How to Solve It
Aside from the usual reasons such as familial responsibilities and a demanding job, there’s another issue which commonly stops songwriters from practicing daily. It’s the impression that you require 2 or 3 hours of time in order to get anything done.
In actuality, you can do a lot with 5 to 10 minutes. The trick is to change your mindset and try to make it a habit. For example, if you go about your daily life thinking about things in terms of metaphor and sensory experiences, your brain will learn to make connections between ideas faster.
Short Exercises to Practice
Here’s a list of 3 exercises that you can do with 5 to 10 minutes of time:
- Sense Writing:
Select a random object and write about it for 5 to 10 minutes. The key is to focus on sensory experiences and creating vivid descriptions. This practice not only assists in generating song lyrics and ideas but also fosters creative associations.
- Metaphor Collisions:
This exercise can be done within 5 minutes. First, use two random nouns and fuse them together into a metaphor. For example, combine the words “Microphone” and “Dolphin” to create “The microphone is a dolphin”. Then, spend the next 2 to 3 minutes trying to expand that metaphor. In this case, you’d have to force yourself to think about why a microphone might be like a dolphin.
This exercise stimulates your brain to form intriguing connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. It also often leads to the development of original and captivating songwriting concepts.
- Rhyme Ladders:
Use a rhyming dictionary such as Rhyme Zone or B Rhymes to generate rhyme possibilities with a random word. Place 5 to 10 rhymes on the same page. Then, spend 5 to 10 minutes picking out pairs of words to form rhyming couplets.
Not only does this help teach your brain to make unexpected connections between ideas, but it improves your lyric-writing skills and enriches your vocabulary of rhyming words.
You can learn more about sense writing with this free 60-minute video masterclass titled “Sense Writing: The Language of Lyrics”
Habit Stacking and Setting Appointments
The second part to this system is how you can build songwriting into your daily schedule. This can be done via a technique known as “habit stacking” which I learnt from the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. Habit stacking is the process of doing a new habit – in this case songwriting – immediately after a pre-existing one. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of making songwriting an ingrained part of your routine.
For instance, if you meditate in the morning daily, dedicate 5 to 10 minutes after your meditation to songwriting. This makes the likelihood of you practicing songwriting much higher since you’re attaching it to something you regularly do.
Another tactic you can use is to schedule a block of 30 minutes in your schedule for songwriting and ensure that it doesn’t move. These 30 minutes shouldn’t be goal-oriented. Instead, use the time to do anything songwriting related – whether that’s critical listening, working on a verse or doing songwriting exercises. A 30-minute session offers your brain ample time to relax and enter a creative mindset, making it more likely for ideas to surface.
Sometimes, you’ll even feel like extending these sessions beyond 30 minutes. However, it’s alright even if you don’t because the important part is committing to a regular practice time so that you can build a manageable songwriting routine.
Conclusion: System #1 to Help You Make Time for Songwriting – Practice Daily
Incorporating songwriting into your life – even amid a bustling schedule – is attainable through the implementation of a system. By developing a habit, using habit stacking, and scheduling dedicated songwriting time, you can nurture your creativity and make songwriting an essential part of your daily life.
And to learn more about writing songs fast, check out this video titled “How to Write Songs in Under an Hour”.
Turn your inspiration into beautiful songs with step-by-step guidance through two professional songwriting methods. By the end of this course, not only will your tool belt be stocked; you’ll have a plan and a method for finishing your songs – all of them: