Clutter is the most common cause of diminished songwriting output.
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If you find that the number of songs you’re writing these days is slowing down, there’s not necessarily any reason to be alarmed. There is no rule that says that you must or should write a certain number per week or month. Without knowing it, your latest song may be more complex than your normal fare, and it may just be taking a bit longer to get it to work.
But sometimes a slowing output can be due to something negative, something that could be easily fixed. One of the most common causes of a slowing up of your songwriting output is disorganization.
Do this: Go to the place in your house where you normally write your music, and take a look around. Is there clutter? Are there things on your desk or music stand that have nothing specifically to do with songwriting? Those things can be serving as a distraction, and preventing you from getting the job done.
So here are some tips for getting organized and staying organized:
- If possible, designate one location within your residence that is dedicated solely to writing music. If it’s a corner of your bedroom, so be it — just make sure that it’s a place you feel comfortable and potentially creative.
- Remove anything from that spot that does not contribute to the songwriting process. The more non-songwriting items that are within your sight or grasp, the more likely it is that you’ll be distracted from writing. So no unpaid bills and no school text books.
- Put anything that contributes to the songwriting process in easy reach. So keep pencils, pens, your guitar, keyboard, rhyming dictionary and/or recording devices nearby and easy to reach.
- Use a chair that makes it easy to reach your songwriting tools. That means an armless chair is probably best, and it should be comfortable enough that you can stay seated for an hour or two.
- Use appropriate lighting. Some like working in bright light, others in dark, and some days that changes.
- Posters of favourite singer/songwriters, inspirational messages, and other motivational devices can help get you get in the writing mood.
The trick to getting a songwriting space working for you is to allow it to be pleasant enough that you are comfortable, but no so much so that you feel like dozing off.
The most important attribute of a working space for songwriting is tidiness. You will be amazed how much a cluttered work space makes you feel unproductive and discouraged. Before doing anything else, cleaning and tidying your songwriting area will be the most important thing you will do to increase your songwriting output.
Written by Gary Ewer. Follow on Twitter.
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