Making music isn’t easy, but we often make it a lot harder than it has to be. If you’re committed to being a serious songwriter, music creation has to become a regular part of your life. And while there are some significant sacrifices involved with doing this, there are some simple life changes that are easy to make and will benefit your music in huge ways. Here are five manageable life changes that can improve your music:
Designate a space in your home for making music
If you have to drag your instrument and recording gear up from the basement or dig it out of the closet every time you write, it’s going to be a lot harder to make music than it should be. Your life as a serious music creator is going to be a lot easier if you have a reliable place in your home for writing and recording. Whether you’re lucky enough to have an entire room to yourself or can only manage a little bit of desk space in your dorm, doing this will help you make music more often.
Create a weekly writing schedule
If you have a non-musical job, you probably have some sort of set schedule you need to stick to. Music creation isn’t a job for most of us in the traditional sense, but there are mindsets and expectations from conventional jobs that will help you make better music more often. Creating a weekly writing schedule and religiously sticking to it is one of the absolute best things you can do for your music. Scheduling when you write isn’t sexy, but it will result in you writing much more music than you would’ve by simply creating only when you feel like it. If you’re really serious about succeeding as a songwriter, you’ll need to spend lots and lots of time writing music. Creating and sticking to a writing schedule is the best way to do that.
Listen to new music as often as possible
Actively seeking out new and interesting music is one of the easiest changes you can make in your daily life, and it’s something that will benefit your music in huge ways. Music discovery ends for most people when they transition into adulthood, but this shouldn’t be the case if you’re a serious songwriter. There’s always new music to experience and become enriched by. There’s always something new to learn through someone else’s musical perspective and creativity. Seeking out new music does take work, but it’s a relatively easy way to keep your music tastes fresh, adaptive, and informed. Making this life change could be as easy as following a music discovery playlist on a streaming platform or it could involve more of a commitment, like trying to see a concert from a new band every month.
Keep a recording device handy when you write
Here’s the easiest life change recommendation on this list. Every time you write music, keep a recording device ready to roll to document your ideas as they happen. Since most people reading this have a smartphone that can record, this tip is less about buying a device to record and more about having a ready to record mindset when you make music. If you don’t record your ideas, you’ll run the risk of forgetting them. But even if you remember your ideas long enough to record them later, there’s often an urgency and energy that gets lost in translation the longer you wait. By recording your ideas in the moment, you’ll be able to document them at their peak.
Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to unlock lyrical ideas, jot down song ideas, and increase your expression and creativity as a songwriter. There’s no single right way to journal. You can document what’s going on in your daily life, write fiction, or freewrite. There are huge benefits to be found by journaling any way you go about it, but you’ll get the most out of journaling each day as opposed to a couple of times a month, so stay consistent.
These are just five easy life changes that will benefit your music, but there’s a lot more you can do to live a musical life. When you create an identity and routine that revolves around music creation, it’s much easier to reach your goals as a songwriter.