Developing Healthy Songwriting Habits for 2020

How healthy are your songwriting habits? The best way to know is to look at the quality and quantity of your song output. If you’re writing less than one song per month or so, or, you know you’re not getting the kind of response and exposure for your songs you really want, it may be time to take inventory of your daily, weekly, and monthly songwriting routines.

Here are three healthy habits to consider building into your songwriting to make 2020 a landmark year for yourself and your listeners.

Treat your “calling” like a job. It’s easy to say we’re called and much harder to prove it by the lack of time we actually devote to it. The songwriters who have songs break through to a larger audience treat their calling like a real job, at least a part-time one, and devote steady time to it.

“Not having enough time” is one of those cop outs we often use to let ourselves off the hook when our quality and output is low. But anyone truly called to anything is so in love with it that they are willing to let go of anything that stands in their way. We can always make time for the things we truly want to do, even considering family and day job obligations.

Organize the song files. A messy, disorganized, or missing system for organizing song ideas, melody snippets, and song fodder decreases effectiveness. You probably don’t need spreadsheets or a color-coded filing system, but having one central place in your computer or an actual file drawer goes a long way in helping you keep up with the best ideas. A phone is a great way for grabbing ideas on the go, but transferring them to a larger device or printing them out for a file will spur you to work on them or help you decide if you really want to keep them at all. A little organization can go a long way.

Regularly feed your intellect and creativity. This is the biggest issue that I’ve come across. Sadly, many aspiring writers I’ve encountered aren’t diligent about stimulating their intellects and creativity, choosing instead to try to write “ex nihilo” (out of nothing), somehow feeling they ought to be able to pluck world-class songs from the air around them. It rarely happens. Inspired people write inspired songs IF they have the skills to do so. The converse is true, as well, that lots of people feel inspired to some degree, but lack the song skills to craft anything wonderful out of the worship, joy, and inspiration they feel.

Unless we want to see this New Year sneak by with little or no improvement in the quality and output of our songwriting, building excellent and healthy songwriting habits into our daily and weekly routines isn’t an option, but an imperative.

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