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Staying Motivated


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I love writing songs, but have had a really hard time staying focused and motivated lately. My recent stuff is scrawled half finished in my notebook, and I honestly don't know where I was going with it in the first place. Writing is something I love doing and I don't want to give it up...I just can't seem to do it lately.

Any advice on how to get through this evil phase?

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I'll second what Tom says here.When you get somewhere that gets to be a drag on creativity,stop and smell the...nevermind wrong advice for wrong subject :-D.Seriously though do like he says and go do something else.It's not life or death usually.I'm assuming nazis don't have a gun to your loved ones head saying write me a number one hit tune right now or they are dead.;)

Another thing is that there is nothing wrong with half finished songs or partials.You might find alot of time goes by before the spark leads you back to an unfinished song,or you will find that sometimes a new concept comes along and you get stuck on it and then you remember a line or two from that old half finished one and it fits just perfectly within the structure of the new song.The truth is,there is no rule,no right,no wrong,just you and your liquor in the wee small hours trying to convey a truth.Any truth.Your truth.Whatever way to get there that takes you there is great.Sometimes we're stylin' and profilin' in a Corvette,and sometimes we're ducking and dodging in a Chevette,but they will both eventually get you where you are going.

Finding motivation in and of itself is not hard,you should have a fire inside that makes you feel as if you have to write something,anything just to get it out there.That doesn't mean that you have to do it daily or constantly.Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I recommend two bottles of wine and a good "friend" - inspiration is bound to appear... somewhere... somehow...

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I use to make very simple recordings of small pieces that comes to my mind when I play guitar. Some of them never fits into anything, and some of them eventually becomes songs. When I am out of ideas I use to listen to the old recordings, and all in a sudden something emerges to take it in a new direction.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Like Rod said - Theres nothing wrong with unfinished songs. I used to feel like you do, but then I realized they are a source of future inspiration. Each has its time. By coincidence I read Tunesmiths blog on scales and writers block today (very good imo) and he pretty much wrote the same

idea with a few more good suggestions., I've only had one or two times that a song came flowing out of me like there was devine interventiion or something magical involved. Now I just try and enjoy the whole process. The journey is the fun, unless your traveling in a jet and playing to thousands of fan who want to rip your clothes off.

Jim

Edited by Jim622
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm sure most of us have scribbled a hook on a napkin, hummed a cool verse on their voicemail, or sent themselves a great line via email. It happens all the time. Starting a song, putting it up, revisiting, rewriting it - just all part of raising the little tyke to grow up to be something worth wild. Don't lose heart on any of your stuff. Find a cowriter or someone in the industry (not mama, daddy, or cousin who don't know a thing about songwriting) to run your ideas past. Most of the time you'll get fresh ideas from them and usually they'll give you an honest critique on what you've began. If it's worth pursuing, you may find yourself working with another songwriter to create something special. Keep those half written lyrics filed so you can return to them later. Believe me, some of the greatest hits in the industry started off on a table napkin! I've read the books about them! :)

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As said already, nothing wrong with unfinished songs. If you concentrate too muh on a song you could get too consumed and have a finished one thats just no good. Work on something new, completely unrelated to your unfinished song and it could spark some creativity and sudden ideas.

Perhaps don't focus on writing so much neither, get on with everyday like and just think about it every now and again, sitting yourself down in a room with a pad can really fry your brain, so just tune out a bit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also have a problem with motivation. I'm not a big believer in waiting for the "muse"--in my own experience, every time I've purposely sat down to write something, I was able to come up with a usable idea. It doesn't usually come in finished form, nor is it an idea I'm incredibly enthusiastic about at first. But the initial seed is there. Then when I sit down to work on it some more later on, I'm off and running. So finishing a song is not a problem for me. It's simply starting that's the hard part. Just the act of turning off the internet or TV, making myself get up to sit at the piano, or grab my notebook and pen is such a challenge for me. I guess it's because songwriting takes a good deal of effort and concentration--it isn't something that I can passively escape into. It's like exercising. You may feel better after you do it, but it can be an ordeal just getting your butt to the gym.

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