Songwriting inspiration

The Relationship Between Inspiration and Hard Work

In a creative art like songwriting, inspiration always leads to hard work, but the effect is often fleeting. Inspiration is like the wind: it comes and goes. On the other hand, hard work leads to inspiration, and the effects are much longer lasting.

If you’re the kind of songwriter who needs a good dose of inspiration in order to write songs, you’ll no doubt go through extended bouts of writer’s block, where inspiration is hard to find, meaning that your songwriting grinds to a halt.

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Needing inspiration before your can write means that your effectiveness as a musician is dependent on your ability to excite yourself enough to write. So you’ll likely have many days where you think “I’m just not feeling it”, and you leave your songwriting for another day.

That’s what I mean when I say that inspiration (when it’s present) leads to hard work. You’re willing to write, as long as you feel excited (inspired) as a first step.

Wouldn’t it be great, though, if you had the ability to write whether you feel excited or not? If you have the ability to start a songwriting session even if you don’t necessarily feel inspired, you’ll notice that the more hard work you do, the more you feel inspired!

Not only do you feel inspiration building within you as you write, but you’ll notice that the feeling is much longer lasting. Since it’s your own songwriting that’s acting as the source of your inspiration, the more you write, the more inspired you tend to feel.

If you want to benefit from this kind of “internally-sourced” inspiration, here’s all you need to do: schedule your songwriting as a daily (or almost daily) activity, and write whether you feel like it or not.

So forget externally-sourced inspiration. It’s nice when it’s there, but you don’t need it. If you really want to take your songwriting to the next level, simply sit down and write, even if you’re not feeling it.

Within moments, you’ll notice a spark of excitement as one musical idea clicks with another. That’s the kind of inspiration that will take you further, and will also keep writer’s block away.

Remember that there are days when it might be best to turn your musical mind to other activities and save songwriting for another day. But if you can manage it, try writing every day, and don’t wait for inspiration. You’ll be excited to learn that you can usually write on almost any day.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter.

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  1. Pingback: Starting Songs, Then Keeping the Fire Burning | The Essential Secrets of Songwriting

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