Ever wondered how to not get discouraged when writing a song? Actually, I’m sorry to tell you this but there is no avoiding getting discouraged at some point in your songwriting journey. I read all the time people giving advice like, “Don’t get discouraged”, and I just shake my head.
That’s like telling someone to not get sick. It’s the wrong response. I’m here to tell you that there is no avoiding becoming discouraged while writing songs. If it hasn’t happened already ( I suspect since you’re reading this article it has or is happening) it will, and it probably will often.
Becoming discouraged at something is a natural part of life and songwriting is no exception. The real response should be how are you going to deal with it?
There are two ways to deal with discouragement: succumb or persevere. Look at how many divorces, suicides, school dropouts, drug addicts, alcoholics, job quitters, and on an on, there are. I’m not judging these particular people, I’m just pointing out the fact that for one reason or another they were not able to overcome their discouragement. They succumbed.
I want to encourage you to persevere when you go through your episodes of discouragement when it comes to your songwriting. Approach it with the attitude of “Discouragement, I’m going to kick your #@%!!!” Don’t let it defeat you.
Here are some ways to achieve victory.
1) Remind Yourself Why You Write Songs
We became songwriters for various reasons. Go back to why you chose to write the songs you do. What do you love about the songwriting process?
Notice I said “what do you love” about it, not what you don’t like about it. The part we don’t like is what allows discouragement to get a foothold. Dwell on why you’re passionate about the songs you write.
2) Listen To Past Songs You’ve Finished
Taking a look at our accomplishments can help to motivate us to keep going. Pick your favorite song that you’ve written and listen to it. Pick out those lines that you struggled for weeks or even months to come up with.
Maybe there was a particular rhyme scheme that you’re proud to have crafted. If you remind yourself of the struggle you overcame while writing that song, that will help motivate you to keep working on your current one, knowing that you’ve proven to yourself that you can persevere through the tough songwriting drought and produce a good song on the other side.
Maybe you’ve co-written songs before and maybe you haven’t. If you’re stuck on a song and can’t seem to break through, finding a co-writer might be the answer. Fresh eyes and ears can provide a different perspective of your song.
My article “How to Find a Songwriting Collaborator” will give you tips on how to go about finding a songwriting partner. My point here is that a co-writer is a better option than just giving up on the song because of discouragement.
4)Let the Song Sit
There is nothing wrong with taking a break from the song and letting it marinate in your sub-conscience. Instead of forcing yourself to write what might not be the best product, just step away from it for a while and see what happens.
Have you ever tried to remember a person’s name and it’s just “on the tip of your tongue”? You then give up concentrating on it and later in the day for no particular reason that name just pops up in your head seemingly “out of nowhere”?
Well, it’s not “out of nowhere”, it was your sub-conscience mind working on the solution behind the scene. Let your mind do that with your songwriting process too.
5) Attitude is Everything
Having a healthy and positive outlook with regard to our songwriting ability is the key to success. Tell me who you think will find success… the person who says, “I suck at songwriting so why should I even keep trying”, or the person who says, “Writing songs is not an easy thing to do but I love it and will find a way to succeed at it despite the difficulty.”
That’s a no brainer question, right? Feed your mind with positive thoughts. You have a special message to share through music that only you can communicate in your own way. The world is waiting to hear what you have to say. Persevere!
I want to end by giving as much encouragement to you as I can through these words you’re reading. The ability to write songs is a special gift that only a few develop to the point of crafting great songs.
The ones who achieve that level are the songwriters who plow through during times of discouragement. I hope that you are one of those songwriters. When you get discouraged while writing songs tell discouragement to get out of the room.
You are the one who can choose to win. Success at songwriting is all in your hands. How bad do you want it? Write on, my friend.