Creative songwriting is the first and most crucial step to a successful songwriting and music career. However, despite around 30,000 new songwriters coming up each year, writing a song with incredible lyrics and melodies can be quite challenging. Even with years of experience, you might find yourself going through writer’s block at one point. The good news is that there are so many sources of inspiration out there that could help you back to your game. Here are a few tips on how to boost your songwriting creativity and inspiration:
Write First, Think Later
There is nothing terrible for a songwriter as coming up with an amazing song idea or concept and forgetting it a few hours later. Therefore, it is important to write down any idea that comes to your mind then build on it when you have the time. Do not over think or second guess yourself. Just go with the flow and write until you run out of ideas. This will not only help you get over writer’s block but will also boost your creativity and help you practice your writing skills.
Practice free writing every day for 10 to 15 minutes. While writing, forget about sentence structure, organization, spelling and punctuation. Your material does not have to be perfect as you write. Be patient and practice regularly until you find that you can comfortably write without following any rules. After you’re done writing, go through your material and keep whatever you think is relevant or can be developed into a better and longer piece.
Another challenge that faces most songwriters is having somewhere to begin. To overcome writer’s block, incorporate object writing into your songwriting. Here, you randomly pick an object such as a map, room or anything that you have in mind and write about it for 10 minutes. Try to engage your senses as much as possible as you write to give your writing an edge and a ‘real’ feeling. Apart from smell, sight, taste, touch and sound, there are two other senses that are critical for your writing. These are the organic senses and the kinesthetic senses which describe your awareness to the world around you.
Organic sensations or visceral feelings refer to your normal inner body functions such as heartbeat, breathing, muscle tension and tingling sensations while kinesthetic sense describes your sense of relation to your surroundings. For example, you can write about how being in a ship give you seasickness or how things get blurry when you are drunk or even how you get anxiety or panic attacks when you are on a cliff. Object writing will help you be less self-conscious and allow you to reveal your perceptions and memories better.
Create a Word List
The purpose of a song title is to evoke emotions, imagery, be interesting and memorable. However, creating a song title is not an easy task to accomplish for most songwriters. Lucky for you, there are various techniques that can help you come up with compelling titles.
You can start by reading poetry and compiling a list of any intriguing words that you encounter. Have one column for nouns and the other for adjectives or verbs. Then mix and match the words until you find the perfect word pair. By doing so, you will discover some interesting word combinations that you would never have thought of on your own.
You can also read lyrics written by your favorite songwriters to determine the trends and styles that make their songs so good and incorporate them into your own to help you generate creative song titles. Keep your ears open for intriguing phrases as you go about your daily activities and record them in your notebook. You never know. You could draw inspiration for your next song from a simple conversation. If you still have trouble coming up with titles, you can try using title generators and other great songwriting resources to help you out.
Get Inspired By Art
Listen to music and pay attention to the song lyrics. This will not only teach you about the styles of successful songs but will also inspire you and give you an idea of what you should emulate. You can also listen to instrumentals and write down any lyrics that you come up with. You could also try reading books to expand your vocabulary and give you fresh ideas for your songs.
Music should not be your only source of inspiration. Exploring other forms of art such as paintings, crafts, street art, movies and photography can feed your artistic spirit and inspire you in unexpected ways. Remember, art begets art. So if you ever find yourself stuck in your writing, creating the same thing over and over, take a break and go watch a movie or go to a museum and let other people’s art inspire your own.
Join a Writing Circle
If you’ve ever gotten to a point in your songwriting career where you felt like there is something missing or something does not sound right, then it is time for you to join a writing circle. Your friends and family may offer you the support you need but they will not be able to criticize your work and offer actionable feedback for fear of hurting your feelings. This is where a good writing group comes to your rescue.
In a writing community, you will meet new people that will help you brainstorm on new topics, review your work and give you a fresh perspective that will help you become a better songwriter. You will also get to listen to other people’s work, offer your opinions and get motivated to create better content. It is a great way to boost your songwriting creativity.
Writing can be a lonely craft. In a writing community, you will get a chance to make new friends who will be there to give you any writing help that you may need. Therefore, if you are serious about becoming a better songwriter, then a writing group is a must.
Conclusion: Songwriting Creativity and Inspiration
Every songwriter has a different approach to music and songwriting. However, they all have a common goal and that is to write creative and inspirational music. Songwriting is not a walk in the park but this does not necessarily mean that it is not achievable. In fact, with the right framework of how to creatively use your writing skills, the songs that you create will be nothing short of masterpieces. In this article, some of the ideal ways of accomplishing this task have been elaborated in a clear and concise manner.
Do you have any other songwriting tips? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section.