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Songwriting Excuse #1: I don't know where to start!

Why is it so hard to get started writing music?

You know the feeling: you sit down at your desk, pen or instrument in hand, blank page in front of you. The first few minutes are tough. Those first few minutes turn into 10, and then 30. An hour later, you're still looking at the same blank page, except for a few scribbles you've crossed out.


The hardest part


I've got good news and bad news. The bad news is that getting started is the HARDEST part of the entire creative process - doesn't matter if you're writing a song, working on a book, or painting a portrait.


The good news is that once you get started, things will begin to flow: maybe you work out the first two lines of your verse, and now you're ready to finish the entire verse block so you can get to writing the pre-chorus.


Or maybe you've worked out a catchy riff that can jumpstart your entire song... basically, once you get over the hurdle of getting your first ideas down on paper (or in your phone or DAW) ideas will start coming, and the more ideas you have, the more material you have to work with.


The bad news is that getting started is the HARDEST part of the entire creative process. The good news is that once you do get started, things will begin to flow.

Before you know it, you've got a huge chunk of your song done.


The trick here is to give yourself small, quick wins: this means either sitting down and opening your notebook, or firing up your software, or grabbing your instrument and opening the voice app on your phone. Great - now tell yourself that you're going to work on one chunk of a song (intro, chorus, pre-chorus, etc) before you end your session.


No one gets it right the first time


Once that's done, save everything, get up, go for a walk, make another cup of coffee... basically get your mind off whatever it is that you were writing about, and come back to it later in your day. This gives you a chance to look at things from a fresh perspective. Rarely do you ever write a song from start to finish in one sitting and it comes out perfect!


And that's another songwriting secret: no one comes out with a perfect song in the first writing session (unless you're John Lennon or Paul McCartney...)


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