“ As a touring musician, having time to write is often allocated to the end of a to do list. I Heart Songwriting Club has encouraged me to put the thing I love the most about my career back into a weekly priority.
For many years I was a staff writer on Music Row. I loved the experience of collaborating and focusing to write the next "hit song", however, sometimes it felt slightly at the cost of my artistic integrity. In “I Heart Songwriting Club” I am remembering the initial joy of writing a song for the pure joy of writing a song.
I Heart Songwriting Club gives me a platform to be a better songwriter, along with a safe place where writers are supported by their peers. I have found excellent feedback, wonderful people, and encouragement to keep going, keep writing, believe in my voice, and that it has something to say. ”
“ Gosh, I love I Heart Songwriting Club. I've gone from having three half songs, to having a full catalogue of songs, gigging my own music and recording a debut EP. It is the only thing I've found that makes me prioritise my own creative work and well-being. Literally life changing!”
“ I Heart Songwriting Club keeps me in touch with and focused on developing my songwriting skill set. Weekly accountability to the group keeps me on my toes and has assisted my practice of staying grounded in my creative self throughout the day no matter what shows up to challenge me. ”
Irish Music Rights Organisation
“I Heart Songwriting Club is a wonderful initiative that helps nurture and enhance its members songwriting abilities in a fun yet constructive approach. There is nothing quite like it out there and to see so many aspiring writers of all ages and nationalities come together to form such a close-knit community is truly remarkable.” - David Wilkinson (IMRO Member Relations Manager)
New York, USA
“This has been a pivotal time to participate in this songwriting club. My inner artist is rejoicing, as I take time weekly to write for myself. Running a business, having a travel schedule, a young son, a husband who travels for business as well as managing commitments and life priorities means songwriting has been pretty low down on the list. Not any more. I will shout this opportunity from the rafters!!
Being able to build a songwriting practice in a safe and confidential space is a revelation. As a big pop ballad writer I am surprised by how many mid and uptempo songs I have written week after week. I am just writing what arises. I'm continuing on and inviting songwriter friends to join me. Thank you Francesca for making this part of your life's work. I've written songs since I was 7, but to prioritize in this structure has improved my quality of life immeasurably. I'm in love with my creative process and what I'm on the planet for in a way that transcends words. Thank you. ”
“ I Heart Songwriting Club has given me a much needed kick to practise my craft more frequently. I would always feel so much pressure to write a good song, but this process encourages you to let go and just write what comes to you without overthinking. It has taken a lot of the stress away. It has made me feel more comfortable to share a song regardless of whether it is fully formed or ‘perfect’- it’s just great to keep writing without worrying too much about the outcome. The feedback from other writers makes you feel part of a community, and that everyone goes through similar struggles when trying to write a song. I can’t recommend it enough if you want to get back in touch with your songwriting. ”
“ I Heart Songwriting Club has transformed my approach to songwriting - I used to write slowly, and in complete isolation until a song was developed enough to share. Now, I can use each weekly task to quickly sketch out an idea, get some feedback and decide whether these ideas are worth putting more time into, and worth bringing to band rehearsals. The good songs jump out at you (and for the so-so ones, it's a smaller investment in time, and often still a worthwhile experiment). I've also made great contacts for support acts and collaborations, and made some good friends!”
“ Since joining I Heart Songwriting Club I’ve written countless more songs than I had in the previous 10 years of songwriting (Hello APRA royalties!). It encourages practise and with that practise it has brought more strength and diversity to my lyrical content. It’s also a beautiful way of connecting and sharing with other writers that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. ”
“My 1st term in I Heart Songwriting has been incredible. I've gone from having half-written dozens of songs and completing none to writing 10 songs in 10 weeks. I'm great at generating musical and lyrical ideas but quickly become stuck once that initial surge of creativity wanes. I know the value of constraints, a deadline and accountability and IHSC provides this so it forced me to deliver. This has been a total game changer for me!”
“I struggled to finish songs quickly and wanted the challenge and deadlines to write new material. I felt I Heart Songwriting Club would force me into being more productive and not deliberating over sketches of songs for too long. I loved the challenges each week and felt extremely proud of myself each time I managed to upload a new song. It was a new experience for me to let go of a song when it may not be entirely finished, however this process has resulted in me coming away with a bunch of new songs. Two of those songs in particular I have recorded toward my new album and will be potentially be released as singles this year! If you're stuck in a bit of a creative rut, I highly recommend joining I Heart Songwriting Club to get their creativity flowing. ”
“I Heart Songwriting Club has been a massive kick start to helping me get into my music again. It helped me get into the practise of writing again, and helped me evolve my songwriting in ways I wouldn't have been able to do alone. I never thought this time last year that I'd be releasing a 5 track EP and touring it around Australia! That's the power of community and discipline.”
Fort Collins, CO, USA
“It’s rare to see a program that honors the self-love, intuition, and creative flow so necessary for sustainable creative careers and aligns those parts of the process with community and accountability that keep writers doing their part of the work. In ten years as a performer, songwriter, and now someone who also develops creative programming for other artists who are serious about developing their craft, I’ve learned so much from Francesca’s approach to cultivating songs. And the best part – I have an anonymous space to check my ego, let go of any expectations I’d put on myself or perceive from others, and tune in to the part of me is the most enriched, gratified and inspired when I’m writing songs. ” (Whippoorwill, The Patti Fiasco, Artist Development Coordinator - The Music District)
Dr. Raleigh Duncan
Berkeley, CA, USA
“I Heart Songwriting Club has changed my life. I am a real songwriter now and it brings me such joy. The club has been an important part of making this happen for me! Thank you Francesca for bringing your workshop to Folk Alliance International in New Orleans.”
Mama Kin & Tommy Spender (Mama Kin Spender)
Margaret River, WA I Melbourne, VIC
Mama Kin & Tommy Spender shared a two terms in I Heart Songwriting Club together in 2016. From this they made their "Golden Magnetic" album, an album comprising of 80% of songs written as part of I Heart Songwriting Club. This album has toured to USA, Canada, Australia and Ireland... so far... the international tour continues.
“ Joining I Heart Songwriting Club was just what I needed during a period of classic ‘writer’s block’. I loved the discipline of being set a task each week, with various musical and thematic challenges, and being held accountable to create something. It didn’t have to be perfect, or even good, but it had to be something - a musical offering, an idea, even a spark of an idea. I am currently performing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and many of the songs in my show, ‘Broken Romantics: A Unicorn’s Quest For Love’ were written as part of my weekly songwriting tasks! When I begin writing my next show, I’m going to rejoin the club. Not only is it a fantastic tool for songwriters, but it’s also a beautiful and supportive community. Francesca has created something truly special. ”
Byron Bay, NSW
“ Writing with I Heart Songwriting Club has become one of the most important parts of my creative practice. It pushes me to set aside dedicated weekly time to developing my craft, and the feedback and community support makes the process so much less isolating. Sharing my songs and hearing my groups submissions each week inspires me to expand my creativity and express myself more fully through song. The personal and career implications for this are huge - I feel like I’m finally beginning to reach my true potential as an artist. ”
“ Before I joined I Heart Songwriting Club, I had a lot of self doubt about my songwriting and it took me a long time to write and a long time between songs. Being accountable to the club to write weekly, even when I'm feeling low or anxious, has had a huge positive impact on my mental health. Regular creating of art coupled with the supportive community in the club has fed my soul and the bonus is I have written almost 200 songs in the club. ”
Berlin, Germany/Hobart, Tas
“ I Heart Songwriting Club has helped me experiment and try out new ideas in my songwriting, especially when I felt my output was getting a little samey or stale. I’ve released music recently that is way different from my previous work, which has been exciting and very satisfying! I have also gone through periods where I was convinced my writing wasn’t “good enough”, the lyrics not “clever enough”, and so on. Being able to share our music constructively in the club was immensely helpful, so that we were able to find positives and new ideas or directions to take that we may not have otherwise thought about. It also got me thinking more about how people listen to my music and what they take away from it. ”
We wanted to share the journey of this beautiful and tenacious woman, Laudy, who reignited her songwriting practice and joined I Heart Songwriting Club after 8 years away from music. After a year of showing up weekly to her songwriting practice she released her first single "Lioness" and reached no. 3 on the triple j Unearthed charts a few weeks later.
“ Writing my first ever song happened in I Heart Songwriting Club. I wasn’t sure if I could do it or not, but the support and encouragement I got from my group has given me the momentum I needed to keep on writing - I’ll never stop! ”
“ I Heart Songwriting Club has helped me develop a sense of musical momentum. Being an artist can be quite isolating at times, but the accountability of the IHSC community keeps me moving forward. ”
Donna Lynn Caskey
“ I met Francesca de Valence at the Durango Songwriters' Expo a month ago and decided to sign up for ten weeks of her I Heart Songwriting Club. Little did I know then that it would become the music community with which I’d have the most direct interaction during this time of necessary physical distancing due to the pandemic.
There are folks from across the country and around the world in my current group who are writing in a variety of styles. Wonderful to hear all the different takes on the optional weekly prompt and to encourage and be inspired by other songwriters’ creations. We’ve also been very supportive to one another as we’re all facing what we’re ALL facing individually and together.
I’m finding it fun, freeing, and relatively low-pressure to follow the suggestions of going with the first song idea you have and sharing what you’ve got after an hour’s “work” (that can feel more like play) for feedback. Grateful to have an outlet and accountability for making time to write.”
BIG SKY GIRLS
Regional Qld Songwriting Program
“ We are in our second year of the BIG SKY GIRLS creative mentoring program and it made total sense to use the I Heart Songwriting Club platform this year to address challenges in creative connection in our last year. Our BIG SKY GIRLS are all based in regional and remote areas but this platform allows us all to connect creatively each week! We are only 5 weeks in but over 60 songs have been written already! It’s such a well designed platform that makes songwriting connections between artists easy as a click. Not to mention the fact it is highly affordable for programs such as ours on a tight budget and working with regional and remote emerging artists! We love it!! ”
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA
“ I was in pain!...I’d stuffed my love for music deep down inside. I’d had a child, then two years later my life was turned upside down with my husband’s brain cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
Francesca’s songwriting club felt like an answer to prayer. I’d been searching for a group like this, to keep me accountable, to share songwriting ideas with so I could get feedback, improve and stop spinning my wheels! I believe I actually said to Francesca, “where have you been all my life? ”