Finding Your Focus For Songwriting

We know, we know. Life has a way of just chugging on and on and all of a sudden, you glance up from your pen & paper and years have gone by. Where has the time gone? How can we harness it, if at all? Although we may not be able to cage time itself, we can find a way to quiet the storms around us and zero in on the task at hand. 

A little life hack that we love and can truly stand behind is the idea that it’s necessary to create space for something new or specific if that is what you’re wanting to come into your life. Is your lyric writing desk covered in clothes that you haven’t gotten around to folding? Does your desk chair need an upgrade to something a little better for a multiple hour inspirational session? Creating the space for new ideas to blossom in is one of the major steps in letting ideas come alive and make themselves known to you. 

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Being ahead of schedule, and being sure to have a bit of a schedule in the first place, can really do wonders for what you’re able to successfully accomplish over the span of days, weeks and years. If you set a schedule, you’re likely to only follow it if you keep the tasks reasonable and spaced out with a little rest and relaxation built in. Keep a short to-do list, but keep a to-do list. When it comes to staying ahead of schedule, usually you’ll fall right in line with actually being “on time”, as so many things can take much longer than we initially anticipate, especially with all the distractions that arise on the daily. 

Take little breaks and start small. We’ve all been there. We receive a grand inspiration via some gorgeous new stimuli, be it a film, a concreto, a delightful breakfast - and we become so quickly enamored with writing our next manifesto only to let it fizzle too soon, because we didn’t come up with a concrete plan of execution. Start small and don’t be so tough on yourself. Give it twenty minutes a day and let it grow from there. Make commitments to yourself that you know you can keep and it will give you a lot more long term motivation. 

Now, if you find yourself with responsibilities that you can’t just put on pause, then it’s time to enlist those around you. Are you in a relationship or perhaps even have a child? Be sure to share free time between the two of you and give one another the space to do what they would like with their time. Maybe one week you take the dog on his walks and the next week your significant other does. Switch on laundry duty next week. Breaking down the schedule can take the power back from overwhelming tasks that seem to never end. This is a wonderful way to share responsibilities but not let them consume us, as well as giving us the space to create the life we really want. 

When it comes to all things technical, one incredibly important yet seemingly obvious tip to fine-tuning your songwriting focus is having your writing and recording setup always ready to go at a moment’s notice. Nothing is an inspiration killer quite like tangled cables, audio devices that won’t register, and sessions and samples that won’t load. If you can find the space in your home to keep your writing and recording space setup and always in action - you’ll have a faster chance at jumping on that creative spark and riding it out a few hours. Don’t let frustration get the best of you, as so many of us know that we can lose ambition quickly if we have to fumble with too many electronic issues. 

Let us not forget the little things. Light a candle, lower the harsh lights, find a pen that writes really easy for you, rather than a less-than-expensive one that continuously runs out of ink. Minimizing the hoops that you’ll have to jump through, will give room for your brain to allow your imagination to take the wheel.