3 Tips For Writing Lots Of Music

Writing music is hard. Writing lots of music is much harder. But between how insatiable audiences are for new music and the fact that the more often we write the better chance we have at creating great songs, it pays to be prolific as a songwriter. Making music takes hard and often thankless work, but it takes even more sacrifice, planning, and energy to commit to writing as often as possible. Here are three helpful tips for being prolific and productive as a songwriter: 

Create extremely specific and realistic goals

Get signed, rack up millions of plays, and make boatloads of cash are not specific or realistic goals. Dreams are essential in music, and good on you if you want to become a bonafide pop star or simply want to earn a living writing original music. But if you’re intent on writing as often as possible, you’ll need to zoom in and create short-term goals that are realistic, specific, and attainable. Here are a few examples:

  • Write, produce, and record 10 songs in April
  • Record three new versions of my new single
  • Take a 15-minute walk each day and think about inspirations for new music

These goals should be aimed at helping you to be as productive as possible, and for completing work. For many of us, it’s not enough to create goals about putting in the time to write. We also need to commit to finishing songs. More on that in a bit. 

Stick to a consistent schedule––no matter what

Oh, the dreaded songwriting schedule. It just might be the exact administrative opposite of what it feels like to work on a new song you’re excited about. But the truth is that it’s often impossible to create opportunities for great ideas to happen without sticking to a schedule. If you don’t create very often, it’s more than likely that you’re writing when only you feel like it––after work, after a couple of beers, after the kids are in bed, after…see what I’m getting at? If you blocked off even just four hours a week for music creation you’d probably write far more music than you do now if your songwriting routine is sporadic. If you’re able to up that time commitment, you’ll obviously be in a position to write much more music. It’s easy to wonder why music isn’t working out for us, whether it’s not having access to opportunities or being stuck with the feeling that we’re not living up to our creative potential. The unsexy answer is almost always that we’re not devoting enough structured time to our songwriting practices. The best song ideas of your life aren’t going to grace you during the few times a year you decide to write music. They’ll come when you put the work in and make yourself available for inspiration. Fiercely adhering to a writing schedule allows you to access your best ideas and to write music as often as possible. 

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Commit to finishing what you start

This one is for the musicians with hard drives overflowing with unfinished demos. Finishing what you start is essential for writing lots of music. Your music will never be perfect, and if perfection is a condition for finishing songs, you’ll end up writing infrequently and will probably be unhappy a lot of the time. Finish what you start, even if you’re not thrilled with a particular idea. Doing this helps clear the way for better songs and will be a huge help in being prolific. We can’t get better as songwriters until we start to put the work in, and spending your time coming up with underdeveloped ideas will leave your writing skills underdeveloped as well. Committing to finishing every song you start will leave you with lots of completed ideas and a path for improving as a music-maker. Will you come up with some stinkers? In all likelihood, yes. But this exercise will also clear the way for your best ideas to reveal themselves over time. 

We often think that there’s an inherent magic involved in making great music. This is true to a degree, but behind so much of the amazing music we hear are lifestyles carefully constructed to prioritize prolific music creation. Write and complete songs more often, and you might just make something incredible. 

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.

Rebecca3 Tips For Writing Lots Of Music


Join the conversation
  • Levert spence - April 29, 2021 reply

    Good stuff!

  • Karma Koza - May 5, 2021 reply

    Very wise words.

  • Bekah Griffiths - May 5, 2021 reply

    I can’t say I agree. The worst thing you can do as a creative person is to force yourself to create. This is probably why so many artists start off great and then 7 years later release boring album filler material. I guess everyone works differently but I find that I write best when I keep an open mind, listen to lots of music to get inspired, and then play around with loops and chord progressions (i.e. jam.) Then when I get an idea I run with it and don’t stop until I’m at a point where doing so wont damage the creative process. i.e. it is fine to leave those hi-hats to another day, but when a melody is forming in my head I will work on it while the iron is hot.
    This culture of waiting until you need to write a song just results in bland, forced music starved of it’s originality. The insistence of record producers that songwriters create a hit literally overnight is sucking the life out of the creative process. Artists need time to craft truly great songs-they need to be given that space. Don’t wait to write a song-always be open to inspiration and grab those ideas whenever they come to you.

  • Lloyd Lee Pettie - May 6, 2021 reply

    Really is though good stuff… Thanks

  • Chuck - May 7, 2021 reply

    The titles of each idea alone was inspiring! I looked up prolific. I found fruitful, many, and it hit home with life being important to me! The posterity… I should right a song about this! Hehe… I liked this article. I love reading about writing songs. So, now I will get back to my regular routine as described.

  • luke - May 9, 2021 reply

    Really good stuff. I was looking for some motivation and I think I’ve got some. Thanks!!

  • Milind Chitnavis - May 13, 2021 reply


  • Burna Boy - May 27, 2021 reply

    To be candid, I found this article helpful than anyone can imagine. Thanks!

  • Schoolgist - November 28, 2021 reply

    Firstly I would love to commend your efforts so far. You’ve done a great job on this blog and it makes it more interesting in sharing your blog post with my fans on one of my websites.

  • Mosente - May 26, 2022 reply

    This is a great article I love it. It has opened my eyes on another level and has captioned me to operate at another level. I feel like am a great song writer, only problem is, I write when I feel like it. I don’t have a schedule and it has effected me. It would be great seeing more articles that inspires and opens our way of doing things. Thank you very much once again.

  • austin - May 30, 2022 reply

    if you’re serious about creating art that’s really interesting and really remarkable, you have to understand lyric writing on your own terms. And the only way you do that is by doing lots of work on your own

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