I’ve now passed the halfway point (45 days) of the 50/90 Songwriting Challenge and at this time I was hoping to have completed 25 songs by this time. Today (Tuesday August 22nd) marks day 50 and I’ve managed to upload two more songs since last week to take my total to 24 songs, just missing out on my halfway goal.

In my last post I mentioned that I had to take some time off due to me dealing with a personal issue. Well, I had to take some more time off but as of today I’m able to get back into the swing of things and even though I only managed to record and upload two more songs I did work on some other song ideas at the same time.

Hopefully I’ll be able to finish these half written songs and get myself back on track however, the time away from songwriting has not been wasted. I’ve learnt a couple of important lessons during this past week.

The first lesson is to be patient when life gets in the way of what you want to do. It’s in these moments that I try to remind myself that whatever is getting in my way won’t last forever. It will soon pass and the opportunity to pick up where I left off will present itself to me once more.

The second lesson I’ve learnt is to always be on the lookout for an opportunity to write, no matter how small the opportunity is. It always amazes me how lots of little songwriting moments can add up and the end result is a completed song.

The challenge is making me realise that I shouldn’t let ten minutes of songwriting time pass me by in the hope that I’ll get more time later on.

I need to take whatever time to write I can get because this challenge is all about keeping the momentum going. 50/90 is a marathon and not a sprint. I’m also realising that doing the challenge is great practise for me living more in the present rather than in the past or the future.

How’s that for deep?

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far just head on over to my 50/90 Song Challenge page and if there’s a song idea you’d like me to tackle for the challenge just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Due to a personal issue that I’m having to deal with, the amount of musical activity has dropped dramatically to the point where I was only able to upload one song for the challenge taking my total so far to 22 songs.

However, this doesn’t bother me for two main reasons…

Firstly, the personal issue I’m dealing with is far more demanding for my attention than the challenge (it’s all a matter of priorities).

Secondly, I’m due for a bit of a break anyway and I’ve worked out that I’m far enough ahead that I can afford to take some time off (I still have songs in the pipeline to finish off and upload so catching up on lost time won’t be that difficult to do).

So, with that said, let’s look at the concept of taking time-out from writing songs for a bit here.

I used to feel really guilty if I took time-out from anything that I was doing whether it be my job, my music work or in fact, anything at all. The guilt would come from the false notion that being busy equals being productive which I now know is not necessarily the case.

Sometimes doing nothing can be the most productive thing you can do for that moment in time and giving myself the permission to temporarily pause my involvement with the 50/90 challenge has enabled me to take some extra and unnecessary stress out of my life as I deal with what I need to deal with.

I hope to get back onto the 50/90 wagon by the end of this week but what I’ve noticed since taking the break is that my desire to be part of the challenge is becoming stronger because I’m missing the marathon like pace of my songwriting at this time.

This is a good thing.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far just head on over to my 50/90 Song Challenge page and if there’s a song idea you’d like me to tackle for the challenge just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Today (Tuesday, August 8th, 2017) marks the 36th day of the 50/90 Songwriting Challenge and after a bit of a flurry of songwriting activity during the latter half of last week I’ve now taken my total output so far to 21 songs.

I’ve noticed that over the last couple of weeks I’ve been using the drum loops in Logic Pro X and the default Electric Piano sound as my default songwriting tools.

Now, this is not something that I normally do as I normally write on acoustic guitar but this shows me that I’m creating new songwriting habits without even knowing it.

And that is a good thing… However, I think for this week I’ll change things up a bit and go back to acoustic guitar and see how that goes.

I had mentioned before that the challenge has been described as the songwriting equivalent to a marathon and I would totally agree with that description as I’m feeling like it’s taken me until now to really find my creative pace.

With that in mind, all I need to do at the moment is hold on for dear life and hope that this pace can keep up with the 57 days left in the challenge and based on my calculations I’m just ahead of schedule.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far just head on over to my 50/90 Song Challenge page and if there’s a song idea you’d like me to tackle for the challenge just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

All I can say is thank goodness for free weekends.

In my last 50/90 Song Challenge update I wrote that I was a bit concerned that I was falling behind the pace however, on the weekend I made up for some of the loss by uploading five more songs which takes my total now to 16 songs.

Five songs in a weekend… I was a SongMachine. My goal is that by next Tuesdays update I’ll have passed the 20 song mark.

As today is August 1st, the 50/90 Song Challenge has now moved into its second month and this is a good opportunity for me to reflect on my progress in the first month and see if I can gain any insights from this.

So… After some reflection, here are ten things that I’ve learnt about myself and my songwriting process so far from doing the challenge.

  • Inspiration can come from the strangest places
  • My inner critic is harder to silence than I anticipated
  • There are many ways to record songwriting ideas on the road
  • WiFi in coffee shops are your best friend
  • Once you’re in “The Zone” stay there as long as you can BUT…
  • Keep maintaining a balance between songwriting and the real world
  • Don’t get obsessed by the comments you receive (or don’t receive)
  • So called mistakes can become happy accidents you can use later
  • Be prepared to write shit… Embrace it
  • Being organised and comfortable in your songwriting space is the key

I must say, the weekend had been an intense period of creativity but it has given me a tiny glimpse of the kind of life I want to be living. I would love nothing more than to be sitting in my studio writing music/songs. All I’ve got to do is work out the ways in which this can be done.

Some food for thought for future blog posts.

The great thing about doing these types of song challenges is that even though the challenge is only a third of the way through, I can already feel how I’m changing as a songwriter and these changes are giving me fresh new perceptions into my chosen vocation.

More food for thought for future blog posts

I suppose my most import lesson that I’ve learnt so far is that I can read all of the books and collect all the articles and take all of the courses regarding the craft of writing songs but there’s no substitute to just doing it and learning as you go and that’s what the 50/90 Song Challenge give me… An opportunity to just write songs and I’m loving it.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far just head on over to my 50/90 Song Challenge page and if there’s a song idea you’d like me to tackle for the challenge just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Well, week three of the 50/90 Song Challenge has been a difficult one and not for the reasons you might be think. The difficulty hasn’t been with coming up with new song ideas but with the actual electrical system of my house.

Something keeps on shorting out the electricity to the half of the house where my recording studio resides hence I haven’t been doing much recording this week but I have done enough in between the shortages to upload two more songs to the 50/90 site which currently takes my tally so far to eleven songs.

Now, these electrical issues have made me realise something…

It’s made me realise how we, as songwriters can be so reliant on technology to make our songwriting easier whereas nothing beats the good old pen, paper and acoustic guitar.

No electricity needed here.

Using this old school method, I do have five more songs on paper ready to be recorded and with the electrician coming over today to fix the issue I’ll hopefully have my recording studio back online and the house fully electrified again sooner rather than later.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far just head on over to my 50/90 Song Challenge page and if there’s a song idea you’d like me to tackle for the challenge just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Right now, I’ll be picking up the acoustic guitar again and playing me some “waiting for the sparky” blues.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

After completing the second week of this years 50/90 Song Challenge my tally is nine songs so far. I was kind of hoping to hit ten songs by this time but I’m still pretty happy with the pace I’m setting at the moment.

I wanted ten songs to be the magic number because to make this challenge seem a little easier to swallow, I decided that instead of looking at 50/90 as a 50 song marathon, I’ll be writing five albums of ten songs each.

Plus, by doing this I will also be able to release a five volume set of songs on BandCamp and that would be very cool indeed.

When it comes to taking a big goal and breaking it down into smaller, more manageable goals, I’m reminded of the old saying…

Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time.

What I have also noticed this last week is how easily I’ve been able to slot in my songwriting and recording into my daily routine and this was one of my biggest fears coming into the challenge.

I’ve found that once I’ve set the goal(s) in place, planned ahead a bit and started building the momentum around it, my ability to manage my time had become sharper and more acute. All of a sudden I was able to clear little chunks of time for myself here and there and over time, these chunks added up to completed songs.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far just head on over to my 50/90 Song Challenge page and if there’s a song idea you’d like me to tackle for the challenge just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Right now, I’ll be trying for song number 10 and for the rest of this week… We’ll see how it goes.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Today (Tuesday, July 11th) marks the end of the first week of the 5090 Song Challenge and so far I’ve completed and uploaded five songs to the 50/90 site.

What has amazed me about this first week is that only one of the songs is a stripped back piano/voice composition and the rest are full arrangements. I suppose that’s an indication of the amount of time I’ve had to write and record these songs so far as I know that some weeks will be much tighter than others.

What I’ve also noticed since getting back into song challenge mode is that I’m more aware of what is going on inside my head and what is happening out in the real world. I’m becoming more open and sensitive to the next possible song idea, no matter where it may come from.

Who knew that a song challenge could have some pleasant side effects such as this.

If you want to hear what I’ve done so far you can go to my 5090 Song Challenge Profile Page and if you have an idea for a song I should tackle, then let me know as I need all the help I can get.

Now, I’m off to find my next song idea.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

I don’t know whether I’m a glutton for punishment or not but I’ll be participating in this years 50/90 Songwriting Challenge.

For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, the 50/90 Songwriting Challenge (also known as 50/90) requires the participant to write 50 songs in 90 days starting from July 4th until October 31st.

50/90 has been likened to a marathon for songwriters and if I do the math, I would need to write one song every 1.8 days to complete the challenge in full.

I reckon I can do that. I am however going to approach 50/90 a little differently compared to the FAWM Songwriting Challenge I completed in February.

This time around, instead of doing complete band arrangements I’ll be stripping my songwriting creation process back to a more acoustic vibe to ensure that the songs don’t get bogged down in over-instrumentation.

The more limits I place on myself the more I’ll be able to write and besides, if time permits I can always go back to the songs and embellish them later on. It’s important that I make the song idea-recording-uploading process as efficient as possible.

50 songs in 90 days is a daunting task and I am going to have my work cut out for me but there’s nothing like a goal or a deadline to get my creative juices flowing.

I’ll be posting weekly updates on my progress just like I did with FAWM and by the end of it, I’ll have a new bunch of songs that I can release online through BandCamp. I might even need your help to choose the best ones.

Let’s not get too ahead of myself here, the task at hand is that I’ve got 6 days to prepare for 50/90 and once it starts there will be no stopping me from getting to my goal.

50/90 will be the ultimate test of songwriting endurance for me. Yes, it’s a challenge but it will also be a lot of fun too, as the 50/90 website clearly states…

“During these 90 days, participants will encourage each other, collaborate, give and gain feedback on their new creations and push themselves to practice and refine their skills in songwriting. Whether long time vets of songwriting or picking up the pen for the first time, participants will grow their skills in making music… and just might have some fun along the way.”

That’s what I intend to do… I’ll be putting all of my songwriting knowledge to good use and allowing my songwriting process to do its thing and who knows, there might even be some cracker songs written along the way.

Wish me luck guys,

Corey 🙂

I’ve had a few people ask me why I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging side of late. Was it because the FAWM Songwriting Challenge that I participated in recently just wiped me out?

No… I have been working away in the background with my good mate Geoffrey Stapleton in forming Stapleton Stewart Productions, a production company that provides recording, production and songwriting services specifically catering for songwriters, lyricists and solo music artists.

I was asked by Geoffrey to consider becoming involved in Stapleton Stewart Productions in around the middle of February and it’s taken all this time to get everything ready to launch.

We flicked the switch on Friday, May 18th, 2017.

Both Geoffrey and I have the amazingly good fortune to base Stapleton Stewart Productions out of Karisma Recording Studio in Collinswood which is run by a fellow songwriter/musician Ian Coats (it’s near the ABC building for all you guys in Adelaide).

Working out of a fully functional, purpose built, professional recording studio space has been a bit of a dream of mine for a while, and the more I stay away from live performance the more I’m realising that working in a studio environment is the way to go for me.

It’s like this is the next phase in my music career. I’m not sure where this is heading as yet but I’m enjoying the journey so far.

Right now Stapleton Stewart Productions has a website and a Facebook page but Geoffrey and I are keeping it simple at the moment just promoting the recording/production aspect of the business. In the coming months however, more services will be rolled out and I’ll make sure that you guys know about it.

I invite you to check out the Stapleton Stewart Productions website plus Facebook page and if you haven’t liked the Facebook page already, please do so.

If you have any other questions about Stapleton Stewart Productions or, you want to give us a go you can contact me through the Stapleton Stewart Productions website or from this site.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

After taking it easy through March to get over the post FAWM Songwriting Challenge hangover, I’ve put together an album of the songs written in the challenge and put it up on BandCamp for you to download, share and enjoy.

The songs are in the order that they were written and you’ll be hearing them warts and all as I haven’t touched them since I initially recorded and mixed them enough to be included in the challenge.

As a package, I’m very proud with what I had accomplished through February because writing 14 songs in 28 days is no mean feat but I want to put a shout out to Mick Standing with whom I collaborated with on two of the songs “Waiting For You” and “Is It Love.”

Enjoy FAWM2017 – The Album and if you like, shoot me through some feedback. I’d love to hear from you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂