5 Steps For Eliminating Roadblocks To Your Songwriting Success

by Clay Mills
Jun 9, 2024

Songwriters, does this sound familiar?

You start out with good intentions to write a new song today and then the phone rings, or you remember an errand you forgot to do, and there’s that email you need to reply to. Before you know it you have spent the whole day doing anything and everything else but writing? Here are 5 steps for eliminating songwriting roadblocks and finishing that new song!

1. Make an appointment to write with a co-writer.

This is the #1 thing that helps me show up to write. By making a commitment to write with someone at a specific time and place, it is twice as likely to happen. If you are home by yourself there are projects around the house that need to be done, emails to answer, etc; all easily becoming distractions that keep you from writing today. I recommendThe Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Co-writing, if you are new to the co-writing process.

2. If possible, set up a room or section of your home that is only for writing.

You know that when you step into this space it is time to be creative. Set it up with posters of people who might inspire you. I had a John Lennon “Imagine” poster in my writing room for years and wrote quite a few hits staring at Johns’s wire rimmed glasses. It really works. Your room might include your favorite guitar. I know some folks that like to have candles burning in their writing room and the lights dim; but the point is to add things to your room that make you feel creative.

3. Have all the tools you will need to write close at hand.

The worst thing you can do when you hit upon a great idea, is to get up and have to search your house for your guitar tuner, picks, or a notepad to write on. I keep extra guitar strings around so if I break one I’m not running out the door to buy more. I even keep bottles of water and protein bars available so I can stay in my sanctuary for a couple uninterrupted hours!

4. Turn off technology and tune in to your creativity.

Text messages, emails, phone calls, etc…these all pull you out of the mind space you must have to write songs. They seem harmless enough but all keep you from tapping into that deeper place within you where the good stuff comes from.

5. Writing the same time each day is a great step for eliminating songwriting roadblocks.

This can be hard with busy schedules but if possible it is the biggest single thing we can do for our creative minds. Studies have shown that our creative brains really like a routine. It doesn’t matter if you’re strumming your guitar every morning at 8 am, writing lyrics on a legal pad on your lunch break at work, or working on your next melody line in the garage each night after the kids are all asleep; the important thing is your creative brain likes working at the same time each day. It loves getting in a routine or groove. And being in a groove cuts down the number of days you sit down and nothing happens.

So these are a few ideas that will help you eliminate songwriting roadblocks and get your creative flow back. Focused writing can be a challenge in today’s busy world but gets easier with practice and the rewards are great. When you find your groove and start creating new songs your heart and soul will thank you!

Write on, Write Now! ~CM

Clay Mills

Clay Mills

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.


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