Working in the creative industry is exciting, but sometimes it can be difficult to maintain enthusiasm or a constant stream of inspiration.
Writing is a lonesome job; it gives you many emotional ups and downs. Our hard work is not immediately visible as it is with some other professions. On top of that, the whole process is often full of creative crises and eternal doubt about the quality of the work itself. In this post, I decided to share with you a variety of activities that can improve songwriting, eliminate or at least minimize creative blockade, and add a dose of self-confidence to your work.
1. Write every day
Yes, it can seem like an impossible task, especially on those days when you have a lot to do and when the inspiration is an almost unknown concept. But the point is you don’t have to write something perfect, but it’s important that you write.
Being a songwriter is foremost a talent, but this talent like any other is worth nothing if you don’t train it. Practice your mind. In one of these everyday scribbles, something good will come out. And that again is far better than sitting at a laptop for hours and saying, “I can’t. I have no inspiration today.”
Every time you think you can’t write because of a lack of inspiration, you need to remember all those moments where the inspiration came, was there and left without clinging to the whiteness of the paper. If you ever find yourself in a situation where a daily (at least five-minute) writing session doesn’t greet you with an idea, open the first book or newspaper you have on hand and choose three random words. The muse will quickly learn to come to those scheduled appointments.
2. Exercise, meditate, run, or take a walk
Physical activity, just like a creative one, is very important. If you are like me and you despise exercise, there are many other activities that can help you improve your physical health and get a clear, focused mind.
Take a walk, ride a bike, go for a run, anything that will help you refresh your grey cells laden with the overexposure of laptop light, and burdened with ever-growing pressure to produce something good. Running is irreplaceable because it stimulates circulation, which gives more oxygen and blood to the brain. It also relieves the body of the accumulated stress by putting all the muscles in motion.
If you run outside, your mind wanders across scenes near you and your thoughts play with the feelings, things and people you come across. The inspiration is there somewhere. The mind cannot create in a body that is closed, blocked, and dormant. Meditation is also a very effective technique for achieving peace and balance in just five minutes a day, every day.
3. Understand that you don’t have to be perfect
The moment you start writing with the thought of pleasing others, you are burdened with other people’s opinions, expectations, possible criticisms, and your writing becomes artificial, the words or chords get messed up. And that’s what people will feel in your music. This is very important.
The more you feel the need to write the perfect lyric, the greater the likelihood that you will be completely blocked and unable to write anything. Write as if you were writing only for yourself as if no one would ever hear it, and then you will be able to open yourself, to write from the soul. And that kind of writing makes people truly feel your work.
4. Newer stop reading
I don’t think there is a word that could emphasize how important reading is to any type of writer. In addition to helping you get your inspiration, it also helps you look at things from different perspectives; it stimulates imagination and expands your vocabulary. This is no different for songwriting.
Talent is always the same, but your ability to express it will change and evolve. Reading and listening will help you see how others deal with various emotions and situations, and how they filter them through their creativity into the concrete piece of art.
5. Decrease social networking activities
Excessive exposure to social networks can cause a counter-effect. One reason is that you unknowingly spend hours scrolling through Facebook, filling your mind with unnecessary information that can indirectly affect the quality of your work.
The other dangerous thing is that you don’t want to start comparing yourself to others because realistically, social networks are a place where everyone presents themselves in the best light. We do not see the other side and suppose that others live ideal lives and achieve success in ideal conditions.
And last but not least, they take away valuable time that you could spend in a much more productive way, e.g. reading, meditating composing.