Why Distractions Are Hurting Your Songwriting Practice And How To Remove Them

Whether it’s a talkative roommate or the constant desire to be on your phone, distractions can be one of the most significant barriers standing between you and your full potential as a songwriter. If you’re serious about making the best music you can and sharing it with the world, you’re going to need to identify what distracts you the most when you write. Then comes the hard work of consciously removing distractions from your writing practice. While this gets easier the more we work at it, it’s a job we’re never finished doing. Distractions will always make writing music harder than it has to be unless we do the constant work of addressing and removing them.

Define your goals

Distractions will put you further away from your goals whether you’re set on making a living exclusively through music or just finishing your next song. It’s important to name your short and long-term goals when you create music. Doing this will help you understand what you need to do to reach the sort of creative and career successes you’re looking for, and, spoiler alert, you’ll find that getting distracted pulls you away from each of your goals no matter how big or small they are.

Set boundaries

A boundary can be as simple as making a commitment to write music for a certain number of hours each week or creating a monthly songwriting schedule. Or, it can be as ambitious as committing to disconnecting from the internet each time you sit down to write new music. Boundaries are crucial for anticipating distractions before you write so they don’t thwart your process. The sooner you set clear boundaries for your music creation process, the sooner you’ll be able to reap the benefits of focusing on songwriting in a clear and focused way. 

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Recognize what tends to distract you the most when you write music

To rid your writing practice of distractions, you’ll need to first know exactly what they are. It could be a needy pet that vies for your attention, or the irresistible urge to check on emails or social media notifications. It might be a well-meaning partner that wants to hang out with you while you write, or your mind wandering off into countless directions. Name what distracts you and work towards creating time and space for your process that allows you to focus on making music as deeply as you can. Doing this allows you to anticipate distractions so you can work towards removing them.

Develop discipline

No advice you’ll find here will help you if you don’t have discipline. Discipline is the backbone behind the choice to focus only on writing music in our songwriting practices. It’s the fuel that enables us to identify distractions and set them aside over and over again. Embracing discipline takes constant work, but it’s so worth it. It’s the act of choosing one thing over everything else, and when you’re writing music, that should be your one and only focus. Emails, pets, partners, TV, and everything else can wait for another time.

Take note of the positive results

After you’ve taken distractions out of your songwriting practice, note just how much happier and productive you are. This step is important because it will show you that your hard work and discipline are paying off and that your music is better off for it. You’ll learn that a distraction-free songwriting practice is essential for the deep focus it takes to create and shape your best ideas. It’s also important to do this when your willpower feels strained and the temptation to give into distraction feels especially hard to resist. You, your music, and your career will all be better off when you learn to embrace a distraction-free songwriting practice and appreciate its benefits. 

As songwriters, we often think that all we need to succeed is great music, but that’s just one part of the equation. Getting to the point where making great music is possible takes a lot of work, and resisting and removing distractions is a part of that work. The good news is that learning to take distractions out of your music creation process will have benefits that extend far out of your career in music.

Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician, and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.

TylerWhy Distractions Are Hurting Your Songwriting Practice And How To Remove Them

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  • SEO consultant Pakistan - July 2, 2021 reply

    Distractions always plays a role of barrier in your goals its impossible for you to give your best if something is distracting you from your goals, must be find what is distracting you and came over it if you like to succeed in your goals.

  • Brandon M - July 5, 2021 reply

    It is in fact very difficult for me to produce the best that I know I can when there are distractions
    Especially with other people all writing at once because some are frustrated and some are too loud and others want to pretend they went all fast and made the best verse ever and hurry everyone else along and it sloppy.

  • Bryan Bielanski - July 7, 2021 reply

    Great blog with some very good advice, nice read!

  • John Sierra Jr - July 8, 2021 reply

    This is a great write-up. Thanks for sharing.

  • John Jaco - July 9, 2021 reply

    Life is a distraction in its self, and “planning your work and working your plan” is key here. You should be approaching your songwriting the same as you would leaving home to work a day job, all be it a job you love.

    All businesses have normal hours, and where as your “muse” has no clue what time of day it is, starting with a set time, with the possibility of being “called in” does work. As an example, a last minute song on The Splitz’ last album was just that, the song came to me at 9:45 at night , I got up out of bed from watching tv, laid down the main guitar, bass, and synth tracks as a frame of reference, then wrote and demoed the entire song the next morning in about 3 hours. The song “Carnivore” ended up being the big song on that album for us, so never let a song wait until later as you may lose it.

    As an early song writer I tended to write at night after the days distractions were at a minimum. Today, I tend to write when I am fresh in the early AM, I also find that I am more prolific during the winter months.
    There is no right or wrong, only what works for you, but what I can absolutely say after nearly 40 years of writing is that blowing off your spouse, friends, or pets will only lead to poor home/social life, which from my experience is worse than any distraction you may be encountering as they are what keeps you grounded, and are your number one support system !
    Prioritize, but be realistic in life.

    You need to find your balance and that is something only you can do, and for some that takes time or may never happen.

  • SEO agency in Karachi - July 10, 2021 reply

    Nice blog. I really appreciate your work on this topic. You present it in a very excellent way. I really enjoy it.

  • Jay Anwer - July 22, 2021 reply

    The best way to avoid distraction while writing new lyrics for a song is to take a break from the busy lives, go to a far off place, preferably close to nature, spend some time in isolation and you’ll certainly get a lot of inspiration.

  • SEO BEE - August 10, 2021 reply

    As an early song writer I tended to write at night after the days distractions were at a minimum. I also find that I am more prolific during the winter months.

  • Angela White - August 11, 2021 reply

    Nice blog. I really appreciate your work on this topic.

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