Music makes us and our listeners feel big, sexy, and profound things, so it can be tempting to think embracing extremes all the time will help us make our best work. But, as it turns out, this really isn’t the case. So often, unsexy things like planning, consistency, and discipline are the things that will help you be your best and most productive musical self as a songwriter. Here are five boring things to import into your musical life to help you create your best music:
Write enough songs and you’ll eventually run into the problem of stagnation and feeling uninspired in your creative process. Combating this isn’t easy. It’s a process of willingly embracing newness and discomfort when we create. It’s the conscious decision to let failure and uncertainty shape your songs more than safely determining the outcome before you start writing. Bringing newness to your writing approach over and over again is one of the hardest but most rewarding things you’ll do as a music-maker, and it’s an essential part of sustaining a passionate songwriting approach. Here are a few ways to approach creating music in a completely new way:
Making music isn’t easy even under ideal conditions. If you’ve been a serious songwriter for years or even if you’re just starting out, it can be tempting to let doubt, fear, and even shame get in the way of your writing process when you inevitably run into challenges. Positivity might seem like nothing more than a self-help buzzword, but embracing it really can help you write better songs more often. When you allow yourself to step back from your process and let go of the burdens of expectation and ego, you’ll realize just how hopeful and positive making music is. You’re an artist putting something unique, human, and relatable into the world. What you do can truly make the lives of your listeners better. Here are four ways to bring positive change to your writing process:
Anyone who’s been holed up in a music studio with the mission of writing a new album knows how hard it can be to focus on the task at hand. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, whether it’s a smartphone notification, pet, bandmate, or our own internal boredom or impulsivity. To get the most of your life as a music-maker, you’ll have to learn to devote deep focus when you create or perform music. Here are four huge benefits you’ll experience when you apply focus to your music:
Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) being an introvert is exhausting. Everything going on in the world around us drains us, and when we can’t get that alone time to regroup and recharge, it can cause us to shut down, making it impossible to be productive. And that’s kind of the last thing you want when you’re trying to create your next masterpiece, am I right?
The best songs ever written came from a place of real authenticity on the behalf of artists from every genre and background you can think of. This unique creative voice is the product of an artist’s complex experiences, musical intuition, and the countless hours they’ve spent developing their ideas to become better music-makers. If you’re at the very beginning of your music career or are years along but aren’t sure how to rediscover a creative voice that’s unique only to you, consider these tips:
Chasing perfection in music creation is a constant temptation. It’s natural to want to create and perform the best music you can, but focusing too much on perfection isn’t how you’re going to get there. From dumbing down your best ideas to sacrificing authenticity, your music ends up suffering when you obsess over its flaws. Here are four big ways your music suffers when you worry too much about perfection:
The non-musical world often thinks that making and performing music is always fun, easy, and instantly gratifying. But serious musicians know that this is only one part of their story. Loading your equipment out of a venue you just played after a show that no one attended isn’t fulfilling. Pitching your new album to a long list of email contacts and never hearing back isn’t fun. And yet both these examples are things independent musicians have to do to find audiences for their music. You can think of it as “paying your dues,” but the kicker is that some artists never manage to move past the stage of trying to get the world to notice their music, even if their songs are great. That’s a hard truth about pursuing music.