Songwriting inspiration isn’t as important as most songwriters believe. It doesn’t magically cure your songwriting problems. It’s not the secret solution that you’re missing. For most, it’s actually part of your songwriting problem…
In this article you’ll learn the truth about songwriting inspiration, including:
- The problems that the myth of songwriting inspiration causes for songwriters
- Why inspiration isn’t the reason you aren’t writing enough, and
- How to find inspiration for songs whenever you want it!
Below the video lesson is a summary of the strategies, with bonus ideas and links to other songwriting resources to help you solve the problem of songwriting inspiration!
There are minor edits in the transcript so it makes sense as you read it…
Here’s the truth about songwriting inspiration
Songwriting inspiration is supposed to be the magical key to writing songs. If you don’t have “inspiration” then you can’t write. You’re supposed to get this lightning bolt revelation, a magical vision from your unconscious or God, or the Muses, and then you sit down and magically write a song.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
This myth is a fairy tale that goes: “once upon a time… they all lived happily ever after.”
Watch the video all the way through. After I destroy this songwriting myth you’ll learn how to find all the songwriting inspiration you need anytime you want. Are you in?
I’m Trevor Dimoff. I transform musicians into songwriters at EpicSongWriting.com. Check the end of this article for links to bonus material.
The Problems Caused By Songwriting Inspiration
The songwriting inspiration myth causes all sorts of problems…
1- You believe that you have to be inspired to start writing a song. You don’t!
2- You think that you have to write a song in under an hour and if you can’t, there must be something wrong with you. Also wrong!.
3- You believe that Songwriting Inspiration is a limited resource or it only happens to special people. Sorry, just: wrong, wrong, wrong!
Don’t get me wrong, inspiration is important, it’s exciting and fun, but you can’t depend on it to last until you’ve finished the song. You need something else to help it along.
The Professional Solution
Now a professional songwriting knows how to take that inspiration and finish a song, because they have a songwriting process that works for them, but….
But What About the Rest of Us?
Here’s what happens to a beginner or a developing songwriter… and it’s probably what happens to you most of the time.
You run with the idea, you write a couple of lines or maybe even a full section, but then you get bogged down in details. The inspiration starts to evaporate and you feel stuck. That piece of a song sits in your notebook or on your hard drive and dies a slow lonely death, never to be finished. Never to be heard.
If this happens to you, like this article and keep reading.
Inspiration is a Problem Because…
The problem is that inspiration is partly emotional and emotions are fluid. They’re variable. You can’t depend on emotions to remain stable long enough to finish the song. If you’re trying to write a song purely on inspiration then most of your songs are going to end up in the trash.
If you’re trying to climb a tree, you don’t take a run and jump to the top. You climb the tree branch by branch.
What Actually Works Is…
What you need is a songwriting process, a method you use to get from that first songwriting idea, to a story in the song, to a song section to a finished song. Click this link to learn a simple songwriting process if you haven’t figured out your own songwriting yet.
That myth of songwriting inspiration breaks down because it skips all the important details of songwriting, the craft of songwriting, how you turn that idea into an actual song.
Songwriting isn’t always instant like people want us to believe. In fact, for most of us, it’s rarely instant. It takes time, and effort and some mistakes and bad ideas that you toss out. And most importantly, it takes persistence.
If this makes sense, use the share buttons to spread the truth on your social media…
How Songwriting Works
Remember how you learned to play guitar, or piano. You practiced. Even when you didn’t totally feel like it, you managed to get your instrument into your hands and you made music. Sometimes it sucked and you hated it. But most of the time you made some cool sounds and you walked away feeling better than when you sat down. If you didn’t you would’ve quit, right? You got better and gradually you got to where you are now.
Songwriting is exactly the same way. You get yourself to write and some of what you write is crap and some of it is good. As you gradually get better, your songs improve. It’s called practice. Some people think practice is a dirty word, but that’s an amateur attitude, shared by amateurs that never properly learned how to practice, or by people who don’t want to have to practice.
I practice, they practice… and you need to practice too!
The Secret to Songwriting Inspiration
Here’s how to find songwriting inspiration whenever you want it.
Yes, sit yourself down and get to work writing,
But there’s a trick.
The secret is… are you ready for it?
Don’t worry about how good your ideas are!
Don’t focus on the results.
Write ideas, write phrases and fragments, imagery.
Describe what it looks like, sounds like, tastes like. What does it feel like?
It’s called brainstorming. Write ideas, but don’t edit or judge your ideas while you’re writing. It’s stream of consciousness babbling on paper. Editing is for later.
First learn to get your thoughts out of your head so you can play with them. Then edit them, play around and build amazing songs with your ideas.
If you’re building with lego, first you get out all the bricks, then you sort through for the most interesting ones before starting to build your creation.
Stop waiting for some magical inspiration that will write songs for you…. You’ll wait a long time. Write first and find inspiration from writing!
Check out this article to learn more about brainstorming, or read this article for 5 ideas for songwriting inspiration that always work….
It’s faster to get songwriting training from someone who knows how to teach it, than endlessly questing on Google or YouTube!