Updated: Nov 30, 2020
I was recently asked - “Is it possible to force yourself to write no matter what the quality. For example, some folks write 30 songs in 30 days as a project”
The book 'The war of Art' has a lot to say about this - here is a snippet that sums this particular issue up well:
“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying” - Steven Pressfield
If you are a writer, then you write - good, bad, indifferent. It's more about showing up regularly and not waiting passively for inspiration
To do this you first have to kill your mind's internal editor. Free writing exercises can help with this, which I talk about in one of my SongHouse blogs.
Make no mistake, this IS hard work.
I have experienced songwriting to a deadline on a couple of memorable occasions.
The first was a baptism of fire with no preparation or expectation of this approach - my week with Ray Davies (The Kinks). But it did force me to complete songs whether they were written well or not.
Another occasion where I was more prepared was a 2hr writing session in London with a dance music producer. I arrived with my co-writer/singer and the producer said
'We’ve got 2hrs so let’s get the first song done in 1hr and then we can do another!'
1.5 hrs later we had song 1 done - that was possible because ahead of the day we knew the song title and so I'd been working on some possible ideas and lines.
The session was extended and he went to get coffee while my co-writer and me came up with a new idea! We trawled my book filled with song ideas / titles and were ready when he came back to begin the next one.
If you are going to get into songwriting professionally then you need to be able to do this.
Pressure is not always good, so if you find that you work better away from such sessions, arrange shorter co-writes, to give you that thinking space.
Today I help singers and songwriters explore their own potential. I encourage them to see new ways to view their creative ideas, working alongside to transform them into fully finished songs they are proud of.
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