I Heart Songwriting Club

Lost momentum in your songwriting? 4 simple steps for how to begin again.

Francesca de Valence, Founder

September 2021

Our club members tell us that they write songs because of the joy and wellness it brings to their life. But what if you’re a songwriter who has lost the drive and momentum to write songs, swallowed up by the demands on life with no time or space to be writing songs?

In this blog, we lay out 4 simple steps for how you can begin again and experience the life-affirming benefits of songwriting, and we feel you'll be delighted by what you discover.

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Why is songwriting important and what drives songwriters to write songs?

Francesca de Valence, Founder

August 2021

At I Heart Songwriting Club, we are all about inspiring and empowering songwriters to become their greatest songwriter. We also know our members have some amazing insights and wisdom to share about their songwriting experience.

So we asked our members some of the biggest songwriting questions - why songwriting is important, what drives songwriters to write songs, what songwriting brings to their lives and finally, we discover gems of wisdom from songwriters who are living their wildest creative dreams.

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How Peer Feedback Can Ignite, Empower and Transform Your Songwriting

Francesca de Valence, Founder

July 2021

Do you want to ignite, empower and transform your songwriting?
Do you want to take your songwriting doubts to songwriting clout?
What if some of the ‘stories’ you’re telling yourself about your songwriting aren’t actually serving you to move forward and become the songwriter you’ve always dreamed of?

In our latest blog, founder Francesca de Valence shares how peer feedback can ignite, empower and transform your songwriting as she shares some personal insights on her songwriting journey.

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How To Write An Album A Year With Ease

Francesca de Valence, Founder

June 2021

Are you a songwriter who has hundreds of song ideas captured on your phone? Voice memos of melody ideas, verse ideas, banger chorus ideas that came to you in an inspired moment...driving your car, washing the dishes, walking the dog? Or maybe you've got a book filled with lyric ideas that you have great intentions of going back to?

You know those ideas are great, that's why you captured them. But when you sit down to write these songs at a later date, you’ve lost the energy of that inspiration and the ideas end up going nowhere. And next thing you know, it’s the end of the year, and you’ve only written 4 songs. You wonder where the year got to and you feel deflated about your songwriting.

You’re not alone in this. Having a long list of unfinished ideas is the single biggest problem shared amongst songwriters that we speak with.

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How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Great Songwriter?

Francesca de Valence, Founder

April 2021

If you knew how long it took to become a great songwriter, would you stay true to course, do the work, so that you could become a great songwriter? Often the songs we’re hearing on radio are ‘hit songs’, songs by established great songwriters. But what really went on for all those years behind the scenes to write that song? Most people don’t know. Even songwriters themselves don’t really know how long it takes to become a great songwriter and write great songs.

In this blog we take a look at the stages of development of a songwriter to appreciate how many years it takes to become a great songwriter.

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What's the Next Step in Your Songwriting Journey

Francesca de Valence, Founder

March 2021

To get to where you want to be in your songwriting journey, writing the songs you want to write, having the successes you want to have, you need to know three things:
1. where you are at now,
2. what your dream destination is, and
2. what the next steps are to take to get you where you want to be.

If you aren’t clear on this, read on. We unpack some common blocks on the path, plus your next steps to becoming the songwriter of your dreams.

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Mardi Lumsden's artist hiatus resembles nurturement: filled with making music, travels to Italy and Bali (whilst writing music) and growing a family. Her new album "Hiatus", co-produced with her husband and friend of I Heart Songwriting Club, Pennay, features 4 song creations that were born out of I Heart Songwriting Club challenges.

In this Artist Feature blog, the long-time member reveals some heart-felt song insights from her new album, born out of travelling, motherhood and more.

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The Time Is Now

Helen Perris, Sydney

October 2019

This song lit a fire in me that wouldn’t be extinguished. I knew it wasn’t enough just to submit it and then let it be otherwise unheard, as the message was too important...

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Levelling Up

My debut single Paper Cut comes out today! Is this even real life? I am living my wildest creative dreams!

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How Writing Songs Every Week Helped Me Let Go

In the past, I would only write when the inspiration came, if a song was falling out of me, if a tune or some lyrics came to me. And if it was too hard to finish, I wouldn't finish it.

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Boom Crash Opera

Holly Austin, Melbourne

February 2019

Through I Heart Songwriting Club I wrote a song, Bittersweet, that has now ended up as the credit music for our short film "Butch".

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The Story of “Infinity”...

...took 8 Years & 3 Continents to make it happen. The journey to my first ever music release has been anything but straightforward. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

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No Such Thing As "Too Late"

Julie Peacock, Brisbane, AUS

November 2018

Sometimes in life when you open yourself to a possibility, you get a surprise and find what you’ve been looking for. That’s what happened for me when I joined I Heart Songwriting Club. It was a key that opened a door for me, at a time when I might have easily thought I’d left it too late.

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The Thief Who Stole My Confidence

Mishell Jones, Brisbane, AUS

September 2018

F - A - B flat. These three little chords were destined to become the building blocks of my first-ever real song, written by me, for me, and about me.

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On Finding My Tribe

Tribe: A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognised leader.

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A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Life-long dreams are something not many of us ever get the courage or opportunity to realise. So many put their dreams on the back-burner in favour of more practical or attainable goals such as a stable income (which is fair enough - we’ve all got to eat!). Another common inhibitor is self-doubt - an oppressive and soul-destroying creature that I am all too familiar with. Whilst I still strung with self-doubt from time-to-time, life has recently taken me on a journey that has transformed and empowered me to realise my dream. Let me tell you how.

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Co-Writing under the Eiffel Tower

Mark Rosenberg, Cologne, Germany

June 2018

I'm from Sydney but live in Cologne now. It's only a 3 hour train ride to Paris, so when I heard Francesca (founder of IHSC) was there, I hopped on a train to meet her. This was one of, if not the most fun I've had ever writing a song.

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Flaxen Tales

Tracey Hammell, Brisbane, Australia

June 2018

Once upon a time there was a little girl with golden curls who sat cross-legged amongst the spring clover under two pine trees in front of the family home. The girl made up story tales and told them to an audience of bees contentedly buzzing to and fro the delicate white flowers. That little girl was me. Looking back, the scene reminds me of the girl with flaxen hair Leconte de Lisle wrote about in his poem that was later composed into Charles Debussy’s musical in the 1900s. A simple two and a half minute piece of tinkling piano keys that drew her imagination to wander into some far off place in her dreams. Such is the power of music.

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The End & The Start

I released my first record in August last year, a five track EP entitled The Start. This was a pretty momentous occasion for me, something that I had been working towards for so many years, and it should have felt really incredible.

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I Am A Songwriter.

I’ve been writing songs since I was 14 years old, and was in a band for 10 years in my 20’s… but I never called myself a songwriter. I can say it with confidence today, but getting here involved a 23-year scenic route. In this blog entry I will share a snapshot of this journey starting from when I made my biggest life decision to date: to move to Australia and pursue a life of music.

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Getting Naked: Vulnerability, Authenticity, Perfection

I have spent a lot of time naked in the last year - at least in a figurative sense. It’s been a personal and private process, as the things we do when naked often are, but I have discovered such profound gifts that it only seems fair to share. I have come to believe getting naked is key to uncovering one’s true essence.

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Art as Discovery: Songs de Paris

A month in Paris is really as dreamy as it sounds - strolling along the boulevards; and as the French say, licking the windows of boulangeries and more than occasionally walking in for a flaky, heavenly croissant. And, then there’s the bread. I can’t eat bread in Australia now. I’ve been too spoiled in Paris.

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What Have I Done?

I’m an Australian musician living in Berlin. I’m here because I wanted to live somewhere else (having always lived in Australia) and to have an adventure.

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Why failing at being a ‘famous pop star’ was the best thing I ever did!

When I was younger, my dream was to become ‘a famous pop star’. To be honest, I didn’t really know what it meant to be a ‘pop star’ or what that job description entailed exactly. All I knew was that if people around the world knew my name and could sing along to my songs, surely this meant that I would be ok and whole and loved, and that all my problems would magically disappear?

How wrong I was!

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Co-Writing 101

Co-writing in Nashville with Sam and Riva

Sam Buckingham (AUS) and Riva Taylor (UK)

November 2017

Last month, two I Heart Songwriting Club members met up in Nashville, USA for a co-writing session. I Heart Songwriting Club set up an email introduction and then they were on their own. Both experienced artists and songwriters but with very different experiences in co-writing, Sam Buckingham (Byron Bay, AUS) and Riva Taylor (London, UK) met for the first time to write a song. We loved that we could help facilitate a co-writing session for them and we are so grateful they were willing to share their insight into the daunting but exciting process of co-writing and letting us hear the actual DEMO SONG!

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Working With Mama Kin Spender

Claudia Allard (Jabberwocky Down), Brisbane (AUS) 

October 2017

I Heart Songwriting Club has been such an amazing community to be apart of. It has opened my perspective on how to write music, helped me create lots of new songs, shown me how to connect with a large songwriting community from all over the world and given me some of the most exciting musical experiences yet...including singing with Mama Kin Spender. 

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Consistently Creating

Jonathan Chambers, Perth (AUS) 

September 2017

When I first started playing music I almost immediately started writing songs. I would write songs drawing inspiration from events in my life or a deep emotion like being in love or someone close to me dying. Waiting for things to move me meant I didn’t write many songs over many years of trying to write songs. On the surface, there was an endless list of things to write about, but the songs did not flow that way. I did not feel strongly enough about everything around me to write songs consistently.

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A Scrapbook of Songs

I joined I Heart Songwriting Club in September 2016, I’d found myself in a bit of a creative energy slump and was determined not to keep going in parallel to my musical goals. I wanted to make songwriting and creativity the centre of my life again and to spend more time in spaces with like-minded people where I felt challenged and supported.

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You know that meme image thing that’s gone around Facebook about a million times that has, written in bold, “Badly explain your profession”? And everyone comments with, basically, how what they do may be perceived by an alien from outer space? This is mine: “I move my hands around a piece of wood with metal tied to it and tell people about my feelings”.

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We Can't Be Blooming All Month

This year I premiered a theatre piece at Perth Fringe World called My Greatest Period Ever. It is a synopsis of how I used the principles of the book The Optimised Woman to make music and just live life in general. It was half stories and some theory/facts and half songs that all reflected one of the 4 phases associated with the menstrual cycle. Menstruating people have 4 phases in a month. As a cyclical creature, you can do whatever you want whenever you want but you have 4 opportunities to make the most of. I do, and I make music much better! As well as life decisions, commitments, relationships etc.

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One Song At A Time

How I Heart Songwriting Club Was Instrumental In Helping Us Launch Our First Show

A last minute decision, a leap of faith and four months of preparation led us to May 7, 2017 — Opening Night of Music & Lyrics with Naomi & Hannah. The journey leading up to our first performance as part of Brisbane’s Anywhere Theatre Festival 2017 was anything but smooth. We both had to jump hurdles, battle our fears, and learn to work together rather than against each other.

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100 Songs and Counting...

For the last two years, since the end of March, 2015, I have been part of I Heart Songwriting Club, writing a song a week, surrounded by fantastic musicians and songwriters with so much talent, passion and heart. This diverse group of people have held me safely and securely while I've explored the deep dark crevices of my own soul, pushing my own boundaries and challenging my own limits. I've done my best to encourage them to keep writing every week, because I want us all to be growing together, and because selfishly I want to keep feeling inspired by them.

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How Writing a 1-hour Song Every Week for a Year Changed Me

Apparently there are two types of people. People who believe that intelligence is a fixed thing, and people who think it’s changeable. I believed that my intelligence was finite. I think I learnt that because other people always said to me when I was a kid how ‘talented’ and ‘clever’ I was, especially with reference to being a musician. Practising for hours daily on piano and violin was seemingly overlooked as the reason I was actually a really good musician.

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