Song writers; are you blocked? Staring at a blank sheet? Here’s a quick and dirty method to break that. Write a song a day for a month. The best way to have good ideas is to have lots of ideas.
According to Craig Wiseman, cowriter of “Live Like You Were Dying,” the way to write great songs is to write lots of songs. Some of you might be familiar with The Frustrated Songwriters Handbook by Karl Coryat and Nicholas Dobson. In it, they recommend that you and a friend set aside an entire day with no distractions and write 20 songs in one day. Good method; if you can ditch everything except song writing for a day. If you can, it’s not something most people can do very often.
You might have heard of Jonathan Coulter’s Thing a Week project, in which he produced a new, radio ready recording once every week. What I’m suggesting is a middle point between these that will spur your creativity and develop your artistic work habit.
Pick a time of day, sit down and write a song, every day for a month. The idea is to work quickly and consistently. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s a good song, you don’t have time. Let yourself play with ideas, different rhyme schemes, different forms. Let the songs happen. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s commercial or if any one will like it. All you have to do is write a song.
This is not an exercise for beginners; You already know how to write a song. Get the words down on paper, sing the melody, work out some chords. But that’s the order in which I compose; write the melody first if you want. It doesn’t matter, what ever works for you.
Get the song down, before bed, before dinner, in time to go to work, whenever. Release all constraints, all the rules you’ve made up for yourself, ditch all your self-imposed limitations. Just write a song.
The first few will be rough, probably not your best but as you get into the routine they will become steadily better. Then again, you never know; there might be a hit just waiting for you to let down your barriers so it can come out.