Every time we sit down to write a song we start off with a blank piece of paper.
It waits patiently for us to pick up our pen and pour out our songwriting ideas from our hearts and minds onto its surface however, a blank piece of paper can mean one of two things to a songwriter.
It can either be something to be fearful of, a scary journey into the unknown, the graveyard of yet another ‘bad’ song or, a doorway to infinite songwriting idea possibilities.
Let me ask you this.
Are you free to create whatever you want, whenever you want without second guessing, self censorship or prejudice on your part?
Or, are you a songwriter that feels shackled by the belief that you must obtain a quantifiable result every time you put pen to paper?
Which headspace would you rather be in?
I know I’m asking a lot of questions here but as songwriters this is something we face every time we sit down to write a song and as our answers to these questions are automatic and unconscious, we wonder why at times we don’t write anything.
This is when we start blaming things like songwriters block.
Try this the next time you sit down to write a song.
Look at the blank piece of paper in front of you as your friend, your playmate. Just the very thought of sitting down to write a song means that there is possibility that the muse will knock on your door and ask if you can come out to play.
Remind yourself that writing a song can be one (or more of) these three things:
- A linear experience – You come across a possible song title that jumps out at you and after writing the first line of the first verse, a first draft is suddenly completed from start to finish.
- A puzzle solving exercise – You take a piece here, a song title there, a bit of a verse here and a half written phrase there and, after discovering the common thread that connects everything, a song is eventually completed.
- Like incubating an egg – You finish writing a chorus but find you can’t go any further however, after leaving the half finished song for a period of time something triggers in your mind and the song magically completes itself.
Sometimes you start writing a song from the beginning and work forwards, sometimes you start a song from the middle and work outwards and sometimes you start writing at the end and work backwards.
It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you start somewhere.
Just remember, a blank piece of paper is not proof that you’ve not written a song. It’s merely the doorway to an infinite world of songwriting ideas and all you need to do is have the courage to walk through it, regardless of the outcome.
So get out of your own way and allow yourself to be free to create.
How is that blank piece of paper looking now?