Transforming Musicians into Songwriters

3 Bad Songwriting Habits and How to Break Them

Stop these three bad songwriting habits from holding back your songwriting and making it harder to get your great songs written!
3 Bad Songwriting Habits and How to Break Them

Table of Contents

Stop these three bad songwriting habits from holding back your songwriting and making it harder to get your great songs written!

In this article you’ll learn to identify and solve three bad songwriting habits

1. Waiting for Inspiration

2. Saying “I Can’t” and

3. Hiding

Mistakes are okay as long as you learn from them... border collie trying to get ball unstuck

Bad Songwriting Habit #1: Waiting for Inspiration 

You aren’t really waiting to be inspired… this is just an excuse to avoid songwriting….

The best way to write a song is…to write it, not wait for it!

Spoiler Alert

For every story about the songwriter who wrote a hit instantly… they also wrote a dozen other songs the old fashioned way… one word at a time.

You can solve this by learning to let go of your “inner editor”… don’t think of an idea and criticising it! Flip the switch and write ideas without judgement, some will be bad, some will be great. Don’t edit until you’ve finished brainstorming.

Intuitively, most believe you should be able to start writing at the beginning of a song and working straight through to the end… I call this the Worst Way to Write a Song!

Bad Songwriting Habit #2: Saying “I can’t…”

Talking about or thinking about how you can’t do something results in: not doing it!

A negative world view leads to a toxic combination of procrastination and self-fulfilling prophecy… you get what you’re asking for….

The solution is to decide what you:

  • Really want 
  • Are honestly willing to do
  • Really, really want!
  • Start working towards what you want… it’s not always easy!

Then commit to working towards your goals (or choose better goals)!

Bonus Tips

  • Imagine yourself “doing” instead of “not doing”
  • Catch yourself when you say “no” or “can’t”
  • Ask yourself why you can’t, why you are afraid of it

When you are avoiding something you know you should be doing, figure why you are blocking yourself….

Bad Songwriting Habit #3: Hiding

If you play your song in your basement, does anyone hear it?

If you build it, they will still have to find you….

Once you write it / play it / record it they will still have to find you!

Hiding Solutions

Go outside, get out of your music studio

Go hear live music, talk to other people, musicians, songwriters… make friends.

Publish it, the Publicize it

Finish the song, finish recording it, finish mixing it, master that recording, and release your recording

Put your music out there… they can’t love you until they’ve heard it!

Let me know when Ed Sheeran calls about that co-write, cat hiding in a couch

Leave a comment to help other songwriters…

What bad songwriting habits have you fought? How did you break them?

More Articles to Straighten Out How You Think About Songwriting 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff has taught, played and written music professionally for the last 25+ years.

If you can play songs,
you can learn to write songs…

How to Write a Song Chorus:
Lyrics, Melody & Chords...

Learn a deliberate songwriting process for free...

How to Write a Song Chorus,
the lyrics, melody & chords