Daily, small steps

Marrying creativity & inspiration with writing for the commercial market, I found I had, generally speaking, two paths... 1) I would write lyrics & songs for self-expression, fun, experience, an album, and 2) I would write instrumentals to pitch to film/tv opportunities. In either case keeping myself primed and 'in the flow' meant doing something everyday with music, writing, or art.

I have some things I used do to flex my 'writer's' muscle, and I have just begun to do them again... here are a few...

-write at least part of a lyric everyday... good or bad, expressing feelings, visions and story

-read... news, blogs, book, lyrics, etc, how people talk & what they're talking about

-practice & play: an instrument, sing, play with VI sounds (what synth sounds like what), record ideas

-ask for feedback & be willing to listen (be emotionally detatched from my work)

-give feedback - a little bit of 'paying it forward' feels good

-do tutorials or watch YouTube videos on things like mixing, using Cubase (etc), TAXImusic interviews on the business, read good books or blogs on songwriting, the TAXI forum and other writing forums, etc

-if short of inspiration, do songwriting exercises

-if short of inspiration & looking for a fun way to push self to write, do songwriting challenges like '50 songs in 90 days' and 'FAWM' and even (novel) 'NaNoWriMo' or 'Script Frenzy'

Most importantly, set aside a time for composing/songwriting and keep that date with myself.

What kind of stuff do you do to get better at what you do?

8 comments:

Karla ~ Studio Enrouge said...

I think you have the key .. doing something every single day, whether you feel like it or not. If I show up at the piano, or at my synth, maybe Providence will show up, too. If not, I exercised my creative muscle a bit more.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm especially intrigued with the 50 songs in 90 days. Whoa! Maybe you should start a challenge of that sort right here on your blog??

Irine said...

Hey Vicky.
I am trying to be sensitive to the moments of inspiration and don`t let them pass by without acting on them. Then i write it down in my diary - The day, hour. After a while I look at the diary, at the course - when and where it "catches" me and how It happens following one another. Then I learn from it and do the things that get specifically me inspired.

I know that studies don`t sound very creative - but i raised my grades 20 points in psychology this way :)

Irine said...

I use my diary - I write in it in the day and the hour - when I have the moment of inspiration. At the beginning it may not be all that big - it can be either an idea or a feeling or something i saw. Later I look at the diary and see the scheme, the course - of when and how those moments happen. I keep doing those things that brought the feelings and the ideas on... after a while i see inspiration becomes more and more frequent - on a daily basis.

Irine said...

I use my diary - I write in it in the day and the hour - when I have the moment of inspiration. At the beginning it may not be all that big - it can be either an idea or a feeling or something i saw. Later I look at the diary and see the scheme, the course - of when and how those moments happen. I keep doing those things that brought the feelings and the ideas on... after a while i see inspiration becomes more and more frequent - on a daily basis.

Vikki said...

@Karla - thanks for the comment. 50 songs in 90 days (July-Sep) and FAWM (February is Album Writing Month (write an album's worth of songs in a month) are both great motivators IMO. Coming up soon is NaNoWriMo, the November novel writing challenge (write 50,000 words in 30 days), and in April is "Script Frenzy". These challenges are all creative, personal motivators to getting ideas out, good or bad. What is also great about all these challenges is that they offer a community of like-minded individuals, sharing their process with creative glee, humour and encouragement. (Thanks for the suggestion regarding maybe having a challenge here - I'll consider it!)

Vikki said...

@Irine Thanks for sharing. IMO there is no 'right' and 'wrong' way to be creative or find inspiration. Your process makes sense to me - you are listening to your inner voice and getting to know what inspires you.

Mr.Bob said...

Ever since I got a smart phone with a simple recording app, I've been trying to record a little something either while I'm on the road, making supper, any down time. When I'm in the groove and do it regular, I find ideas keep coming faster, or lyric gaps and edits go so much more smoothly. One mini problem is I have hundreds of ideas on the phone but getting to used to jotting mini parts and maybe only use 1 in 20 mini ideas and build a complete song... At least I can pick and choose from only the best stuff and some of my best songs came from writing a hook in a car :)

Ken Tamplin said...

This is really a creative & inspirational blog for me. All creative steps helps me to write lyrics & songs with my self-expression.

Thanks for the advice, may be it would more helpful to improve my singing & lyrics writing with new ideas.