If you’re reading this, you probably love making music but struggle to fit it into your daily life. Maybe you’re young and are tied up with a full-time non-musical job, or are in your thirties with a young family. Or, you have always wanted to pursue music seriously, but could never find the time. The truth is, you can make music creation a priority in your life regardless of your age, busy schedule, and musical experience. It just takes some planning and dedication.
Goals first, schedule next
Vague desires like “I want to make more music” or “ I want to try songwriting” aren’t clear enough to bring music creation into your daily routine in a lasting way. Write down a short list of realistic goals you want to accomplish in music, whether it’s writing and recording your first song or writing fifteen songs over the next three months for an upcoming album. The type of goals you have will tell you how much time you need to devote to music creation in any given week. If you’re trying to write and record your first song, for example, devoting a few hours a couple of days over a span of two weeks should do the trick. If you plan on writing fifteen songs within three months, that’ll definitely take up much more time and effort.
The more time you devote to music, the more you’ll get done. If time isn’t something you have a lot of, try setting aside as much time as possible as often as possible instead of freeing up eight hours in one day a month just for making music. You’ll be able to develop your skills better with frequent and consistent practice, rather than lumping all your available time together into big chunks. Even 15-minute writing sessions can be fruitful, as long as you’re consistent.
The real trick for consistent songwriting comes down to carving out a time during your week that you can devote purely to music creation and not anything else. If you do this long enough, even short writing sessions will eventually add up to big changes in your musical life. Doing this requires sacrifice because saying yes to making music over and over again, week after week, means saying no to other things in your life that are important to you. But if you know you want to pursue music seriously, doing this is well worth it. Once you cross off a goal on your list, replace it with another one.
Creating in a clean, distraction-free place
If you can, designate a place to create in that’s clean, quiet, and easy to work in. This could be a room in your house or an outside music studio. The easier it is to access your instruments and recording equipment, the easier it will be to make music regularly in your daily life. Once you have a dedicated music creation space, the battle becomes removing distractions when you work. This means turning off your phone and doing nothing but making music during the times you’ve scheduled.
All of this takes a lot of work. But if you know music creation is something you want to be a regular part of your life, it’s the kind of effort that pays off in big ways.