As a songwriter you can´t always control when you get inspired, but the negative stories you´re constantly telling yourself about your own capacity to create; well, that´s really hurting your productive flow.
1) Stay alert and open for inspiration; a movie, a face in a crowd outside the subway, the melancholy you can tap into – thinking about someone you lost. We are like grass; it bends, but it doesn’t break. Accepting that you can bend a little more than yesterday is important as a songwriter. Don´t push the insight, but put yourself in situations that spark more ideas.
2) Control your time and realize that writing a song isn’t as serious as you make it to be. How many minutes each day is yours to use as wisely as you can? Do you have any favorite creative time – morning, midday or evening – you can reserve for songwriting a couple of times a week? Most people don´t prioritize the most important things, because we tend to choose comfort over uncertainty. “Someday” is just wishful thinking – the spark that’ll never burn.
3) Do you feel insecure? Guess what; the rest of the world feels it, too. Don´t underestimate yourself. Welcome doubt and fear as a friend you can write songs about. We grow fearless when we meet our fear, and all those who have followed their passion in life have felt the same lack of confidence as you. Guess what? They did it anyway.
4) The relaxation phase is crucial to a songwriter, or any creative being. When in silence – something mysterious happens once in a while; you seem to receive some kind of wisdom and clarity that seemingly appears out of nowhere – you are in contact with your creative source; collect as many ideas as you can when in this state, and you’ll have plenty of material to work on until the next “awakening”.
6) If you’re in a creative rut, try to go through ideas you’ve already recorded or written down. Do you have a verse you can develop, some chords that sound good, a great guitar part that haven’t found a home yet? Turn the song around a little bit, maybe a song with a chorus could be a verse/refrain song? Try different rhythmic syncopations, sing over bar lines, make interesting harmonies between bass and vocals – there are many ways make something coherent and interesting out of a promising, but incoherent start. Many great songs have been created by experimenting.
All the best from Frank and Eirin