Let’s face it, the more you do something, the better you are at it.
If we were sitting in a maths class, we’d say there was a positive correlation between the two, and we’d point to the graph that perfectly demonstrated our point. Thankfully, we’re not – but the point is still relevant, especially when it comes to writing your own music.
There are ample advantages of doing so, but it is often finding the time, that in the end stops us. We’ve put together some pointers to help you form this healthy habit, and why you’ll find it worthwhile.
1. Commit to yourself
Commit to yourself! Pick a particular time when you can write every, single, day. You’re probably going to think ‘that’s a lot of commitment to take on!’ and you’re right. The thing is, something as important as writing your own music shouldn’t be taken lightly. Once you’ve made this promise, it should be kept. No matter what.
However much of your time you decide to dedicate is up to you. This should be one hour of your time, every day, or more. It is best to choose a time when you know you’re at your peak – so, if you’re a night owl or an early bird, time your writing around this. This is still your time, so you should ensure it is worthwhile.
2. Begin small
Now you’ve made your commitment, congratulations by the way, it’s time to write.
Woah there, don’t begin with a full album! That’s one fast way to ensure you burn out. Start small, and work your way to a specific goal. Even if, during your writing sessions, you only manage to get through one verse, or one song, it’s always something you can go back and revisit.
Remember, there’s no competition! It’s just you and your music. If you end up with one line, that’s one line more than you had to begin with. The most seasoned of artists end up selecting the absolute best bits from their work, and the rest of it never sees the light of day. Keep going!
3. Write free
When you’re writing during your selected, and fixed, daily time – write free. There’s no rule saying you should stick to a structure! You don’t have to write between lines, rules, guidelines, strategies, instructions or anything else. Often the best way to create is to first unshackle yourself. Some famous songwriters even favour using the cut-up method, where they cut out their words, throw them in the air, and wait to see what sticks. In the end, you do you.
Why you should
There are, naturally, numerous benefits to writing. Not only does it develop you as a writer (and a musician) but it also forces you to come up with new, fresh and exciting ideas. What’s more, when you’re writing all the time, you’re also clarifying your ideas, finding your voice and understanding your inner flare.
All of these alone are excellent reasons to start writing every day. However, it gets better. Writing will also help to develop your vocabulary, purge any ideas floating about in your dreams, and inspire your subconscious. And all of this is excellent cannon fodder for your songs.
So, fellow musicians, write! Be sure to do it tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and well, you get the idea.
Also published on Medium.