Over the last 3 years at SongTown I have personally responded to thousands of emails. Many want to write better songs but can’t seem to find the songwriting motivation to commit to writing on a regular basis.
If this is you, you are not alone. We all feel the pull of emails, social media, or that new movie that we just gotta see; instead of writing songs. We see videos of other songwriters and artists and we think they are doing well. We think it must be easy for them. The truth is, no writer that is doing well, does so without some struggle.
When we choose to start writing songs or dedicate ourselves to writing more songs (as many students come back to it after a long break), we are really deciding to make a lifestyle change.
Think about those times you’ve decided to start eating healthier, drink less, get to the gym more often, or spending more quality time with your family. Even though these were all good decisions, the decision was the easy part. The follow-through was the real challenge.
So this is the main lesson I want to leave you with today. No matter how much you desire change, you have to take action to get the momentum rolling your way. Here are three things you can do now to help you change old habits get your writing back on track…
Commit to a weekly or daily co-write!
It is so much easier to sit down and write knowing you’ve scheduled a co-write with someone and you have to show up! Not to mention how much more fun it is to sit in a room and share stories and work on a song with someone else, rather than staring at a blank sheet of paper all alone. I can’t tell you enough how much co-writing has helped my career through the years. Without this I may have never written my first hit or my next!
Get a mentor/teacher! Who will drive you to be better!
A great mentor can help spot your strengths and weaknesses. A mentor will hold you accountable and help you focus on what you need to be focusing on to reach your goals. It’s important to always check the credentials of a person offering mentoring services. You want to learn from someone with a track record of success in songwriting. It will shave years off your learning curve. I studied songwriting for a year at a music college and I learned a lot, but I also learned a lot of things that I had to un-learn later! So save yourself the trouble and start with a mentor that has achieved what you’d like to achieve.
Join an online community to amp up your songwriting motivation.
At SongTown we do so many things that keep our students motivated. Livestreaming webinars and classes, pro feedback for your songs, and the largest and most supportive community of member songwriters anywhere. And when you are ready, we help to get your songs heard by the right industry people.
But equally as important, it’s vital to find a community of peers that offer each other encouragement. And SongTown members help and support each other daily. Everyone cheering for the success of others. This is especially important if you don’t live in a large music city. Just knowing you are on a similar journey as your peers lessens the isolation; and with modern zoom meetings and the like, you’ll stay connected and focused.
So these are my three tips to help you get rolling. There are more but 3 steps forward…one step b.. you get the picture!
Write On! Clay
Clay Mills is a 16-time ASCAP hit songwriter, producer, and performer. He is the co-founder of SongTown and has 2 Grammy nominations for “Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio and “Heaven Heartache” by Trisha Yearwood. Clay is also the co-author of Mastering Melody Writing and The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Co-writing.