songwriter pondering the future

Staying Strong – Staying Creative

We are living in times that we haven’t seen in our lifetime. I am very impressed by the positivity I see from so many people as we deal with this COVID-19 crisis. And the truth is: we will get through this.

As a songwriter, you’re uniquely placed to bolster the mood and resolve of the people you know. So many of you have recorded songs you’ve written, and made special efforts to stream them to as many others as you can. I think that’s wonderful. You are taking the thing you do so well and use it as a way to encourage others.

But in doing all of this for others, I hope you also take time to seek out ways to help yourself stay positive and strong. If you’ve been a gigging musician, you’ve got worries!

For many of you, writing songs has been your method for staying sane in a complicated world. Our world is more complicated now than it was a few months ago. What makes things so much more complicated is that there’s little else to do as you wait for this crisis to pass.

A few months ago, you might devote an hour or two to songwriting, then head off to work, or go to the park, or visit with friends. These days, once you’ve done some songwriting, it’s hard to know what to do next.

And because you don’t have easy access to your friends (a Skype or Zoom session isn’t the same as being in the same room), you can start to feel the pressure of isolation, and writing music doesn’t necessarily always ease that pressure.

Because we’re all different, I don’t necessarily have the answer to making you feel that pressure less intensely.

But here is a thought: I’ve written before about the creative power that comes from dabbling in other art forms, and if there was ever a time to try your hand at something else, now is that time.

Being a songwriter means you’re creative, but you can steer that creativity into new and exciting directions:

  1. Poetry. If you’re a lyricist, you’re already doing something akin to poetry. But now’s the time to try writing something deeper, more comprehensive, more meaningful than what you may have been setting to music.
  2. Painting and other forms of visual art.
  3. Sculpture and carving.
  4. Dance.
  5. Woodworking.

It’s actually a list that could be very long, and you’d be surprised how much good (and free) help there is online. There is something exciting about learning a new skill that allows you to show your creative soul in a new way.

And the benefit is that eventually the things you learn in the new art form will find its way into your songwriting, and you’ll become a better songwriter for it.

But for now, the main purpose of diversifying in this way is to keep you occupied, and to give you one more quality activity that you can add to your day.

We’ll go through more tough times before we see a strong light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll eventually see that light, I can promise you. Don’t let this defeat you! Stay strong, be careful, and — most importantly — don’t forget to tend to your own mental health even as you use your songwriting to help others.

If you’ve written songs or resurrected old ones and streamed them recently, please use the comments section below to tell us where we can listen to your music.


Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m still very much a beginning songwriter, having only really been able to push myself to complete a few songs recently despite reading this blog and taking notes for a couple years now, but I did manage to write one song during quarantine that I put up on my YouTube channel. It was just a more lighthearted song written to try and cheer up my boyfriend.

    Link: https://youtu.be/qZSXEyPFauo

  2. Pingback: The Daily Muse – April 21st, 2020 | All About Songwriting

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