guitarist - songwriter

Spreading Your Creativity Around: Working on Different Projects at the Same Time

You seen me write about this before: the benefits of keeping several songs on the go at any one time, instead of putting all your energies on just one at a time. But also, don’t discount the value that comes from spreading your creativity around, and working on several kinds of projects at the same time.

The best writers are multitaskers. And in fact, I would argue that it’s the multitasking that makes them better writers. Classical composers did this all the time. If you look at when any one composer’s most famous large works (symphonies, etc.) were completed, you’ll find that at the same time they were also composing smaller works — solo sonatas, string quartets, and so on.

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Multitasking gives you the ability to put a song away for a while without feeling the sting of writer’s block. Using the premise that “a change is as good as a rest”, diverting your attention to a different project allows you a break from one song, letting you change gears and approach a new song with a different part of your creative mind.

But I said that you might consider working on several kinds of projects at the same time. In other words, don’t just think of the possibility of switching to a different song; you might also consider a different but related artistic activity.

For example, if one song has you feeling tapped out, that you’re kind of stuck in the mud, you might switch to a different but related activity: spend the day writing lyrics.

Or any other related musical activity:

  • practicing your instrument;
  • writing poetry or short stories;
  • mixing and doing other production-related jobs on your own or someone else’s music;
  • doing ear training exercises;
  • practicing your singing;
  • listening to music in your own or some other genre.

Writing two or three songs at the same time makes you feel successful even in the midst of feeling that you’ve run out of ideas on one song. But spending your day working on some other activity related to songwriting also gives you the opportunity to exercise a rather different set of musical muscles.

This kind of switching musical focus means that it becomes more possible to make songwriting, and all its related activities, a daily activity. And the more regular your songwriting becomes, the better at songwriting you become.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary EwerFollow Gary on Twitter

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