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.
Unfinished songs can feel like a heavy weight holding you back from getting you where you want to go in your songwriting career.
It stops songwriters from being able to get into a studio and record, to get other people to cut their songs, and it’s even holding them back from getting on stage and playing songs. You can’t very well play half a song at a gig, can you?
Would you like to be free of unfinished ideas and instead write finished songs week after week? It’s so much more simple to do than you might think, and we’d love to step you through some ways you can do this.
Here are some steps you can take to write an album a year with ease:
1. Use limitations to help you focus. In I Heart Songwriting Club, we give our members a brief and 1 hour time limit so that they have a starting point and focus point to get them started and a limit of time to help them work to the end point.
2. Put time aside to work. Professional songwriters schedule their songwriting sessions. If you want the results of a professional songwriter, approach your songwriting like a pro rather than just writing when inspiration strikes. We recommend at a very minimum you write one song a week.
3. Don’t attach to the outcome. Write for the sake of writing. Practice flexing your creative muscles and simply write a song.
4. Finish the song. You don’t have to like the song for the writing experience to have been a valuable learning and creative opportunity.
5. Stay curious. When you hit a block, stay open and curious so that you can find a way past the block. Asking questions is a wonderful way to stay open. For example, what if I do this, or go this way, or play the chord sequence backwards, or sing long notes, or simply sing ah or make up sounds until I move through the development of this section? Questions like this can keep you moving forward. And moving forward will help you finish the song.
6. Get feedback on your songs. If you’re a songwriter who has a habit of sabotaging your songs, get feedback on your songs so that you can get some perspective on your own work. Feedback is an important part of every program in I Heart Songwriting Club.
7. Choose your favourite 10 songs for your album. After writing songs every week for a year and having feedback on each one, some of those songs will stand head and shoulders above the rest. Develop those songs that stand apart and put these songs together for your next album!
When songwriters start writing and actually finishing songs every single week, everything changes.
It changes their experience with creativity, with their craft and skill set, it changes how they feel about their songs and songwriting. It increases confidence in their songwriting and builds momentum to wanting more – like recording and performing.
Songwriters in I Heart Songwriting Club who write songs week after week feel the pull to take their careers to the next level – and they have the songs to follow through on that. With 52 new songs each year, they simply choose their favourite 10 songs and record those for a new album.
If you’re a songwriter who feels the weight of unfinished songs and wants to move forward to having finished songs week after week, try these tips above or Join The Club. This is a club that you can join right now and start finishing songs as soon as next week and in 10 weeks have 10 finished songs.
If you’re a beginner songwriter who is right at the start of your journey, and wants a bit more hand-holding, we have a beginner songwriters course for adults and for kids to guide you to your first 10 finished songs.
And finally, if you’ve been writing songs week after week for the last year and you’re ready to take the next step with your songs, check out Level Up Club.