Are you an aspiring songwriter or a composer? Do you want to be a professional in the music business? The only way to become a professional is to do what professionals do. Pros develop good habits and they make no excuses. As a songwriter/composer, music is your product to market and the only way you are going develop a decent music library is to write everyday.
Tip#1: Create a symbol to remind you of the promise you made to compose for at least 10 minutes everyday.
Making the commitment to write music everyday is not easy. There are so many distractions in life that make it hard to commit, but there are ways to get around these obstacles. You can start by creating a symbol that represents the promise you made to yourself to write music everyday. For example, I chose a red ribbon as my symbol that I look at everyday. It helps me to focus, and it reminds me of the promise that I’ve made to form good habits.
Tip#2: Communicate your commitment to write everyday to your subconscious mind.
In order to make this habit stick, you must involve your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is always working. For most of us, the subconscious mind is working against us. It is like a computer hard drive in which programs are loaded on to it, and it performs the functions of those commands. The commands, in this analogy, represent the internal self-talk that you have with yourself everyday. If you repeatedly tell yourself that you don’t have the time or energy to write music everyday, then your subconscious mind will make sure that you don’t have any time or energy to write. It’s that simple.
Once you start sending the message to your subconscious mind that you do have the time and energy to write, it will stop working against you and start working with you. You will notice that your energy level will increase and you will have the energy to write everyday. You’ll also become more aware of the time that you have throughout the day to jot down your ideas. Musical ideas will flow to your mind with ease. It’s amazing how brilliant your subconscious mind really is.
To find out more about how to communicate with your subconscious mind, I recommend going to Steve Pavlina’s website and listening to his podcast entitled “Consulting your Intuition”:
Another great resource to check out is the book, “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” by Shad Helmstetter.
Tip#3: Reward yourself for reaching your goal to write music everyday.
It is important when forming the habit of writing music everyday that you set up a goal to use as a measurement of success. Once you reach your goal, reward yourself so that you will look favorably on this habit. This will encourage your subconscious mind to continue helping you. When I first starting forming this habit, I told myself that if I did this for the first month, that I would reward myself by going out to see a musical performance. I saw a performance of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Your goal can be defined as a period of time in which you perform the habit, or as a completed piece of music. It’s up to you. It is very important that if you reach your goal, that you go through with the reward. If you don’t, you may find it harder the next time you attempt to form another good habit.
Tip#4: Use technology to help you write music on the go!
One way to make sure you write everyday is to set up ways to write while you are on the go. I know that many aspiring songwriters and composers are working day jobs and don’t have time to sit in front of their home studios or to jot down their ideas on paper whenever an idea comes to them. Sometimes ideas come to me while I’m out and I have created a few ways that I can capture those ideas. I use the voice recorder on my cell phone to sing and record musical ideas as they come to me. Then I transfer those ideas over to Soundation Studio, a digital audio workstation that exists online on a cloud server to make it more of a solid idea. I use Soundation to develop ideas while I’m not at home near my studio however, I find it too limiting to use it instead of my current DAW (Sonar X2) because of the limited virtual instruments. Then later on I transfer the data from Soundation to my computer-sequencing program. If you don’t have a voice recorder on your cell phone, you can always go out and buy a voice recorder and carry it around with you. These technological devices can be a lifesaver when catching those brilliant ideas that come to you in the middle of the day.
Tip#5: Decide which days are music-light and which are music-heavy and plan accordingly.
I know many of you have day jobs, which means you have days in which you have to work and days in which you don’t. Recognizing this means that you can plan what kind of composing day you will have. On the days that you work, these will be what I call music-light days, in which you compose for at least 10 minutes. On the days you don’t have to work, you have more time to devote to writing and this is what I call a music-heavy day. On this day, you can take all of the music ideas that you wrote on your music-light days and develop these ideas into completed songs. These are the days in which most of your music construction will take place. By having music-light days, you make it easy to get down to business on your music-heavy days because you already have material to work with. Again, I like to
Tip#6: Break up your day with a nap or a walk.
For those who want to compose music when you come home from work, it may be a challenge because of the lack of energy. One way to get past this is to break up your day with a nap or walk. You need a barrier to separate your workday from your music writing evening. Taking a nap will make you feel rested and will give you enough mental stamina to write for a few hours before resting for the evening.
Walking or performing other forms of exercise before you write is another way to break up your day. It helps to relieve stress and helps you to focus. It also helps to improve your mood by increasing the production of endorphins. Once you are able shake off the stress of the day and improve your mood, you will be ready to sit down and focus on composing for the evening.
So there you have it! Six tips that will help you form the habit of writing every day. Once you successfully form this habit, you will crave writing music. Making it a part of your daily routine will help you become more productive and it will feel good to get those musical ideas out of your head. Once your see your music library growing, you will feel so good and you will be more confident when networking with industry professionals. So don’t delay! Start writing every day. No excuses!