Don’t get me wrong, compared to most work in the world, writing songs is pretty great even from the first song you write. That being said, once you’ve made the decision to take your songwriting seriously, there’s so much more to think about than just whatever inspiration happens to provide on a given day. I’m here to tell you, however, that the longer you write songs, the more fun it gets. I thought I’d put down a few of the reasons I’ve found this to be true.

1. The technique disappears

When you begin to really study the craft of songwriting, it seems like you can’t write at all without getting bogged down in all of the things you’re supposed to remember to do. Are your rhyme schemes consistent? Does the chorus melody differ from the verse melody? Given that there are tons of things to consider when you’re refining your craft, it’s a miracle you can make it through the song at all. Well, as with any technique, the more you do it, the more it becomes ingrained and the less you’ll find yourself actively thinking about it. Once you’re no longer consciously considering technique, the songwriting process will get back to feeling musical and inspired like it did when you first started.

2. You get better at getting out of your own way

When you’ve only written a few songs, there’s a tendency to agonize over every detail and to constantly second guess yourself. The more songs you write, the more you’ll come to realize that your instincts are, indeed, worth trusting and that the details will work themselves out if not in your first draft then in a subsequent re-write. The more you’re able to relax and get out of your own way, the more open your creative channels will become and the less you’ll hinder your songwriting.

3. Your songs get more consistent

As my friend and hit songwriter, John Tirro, said years ago, “every once in a while you’re going to screw up and write a great song.” What I think John was referring to was the fact that early on we can occasionally show flashes of extreme brilliance in our songwriting. The problem is that when we’re new to the craft, the likelihood of repeating that particular feat is low. The more songs you write, the higher the baseline level of quality of your songs will be. There is absolutely no substitute for writing lots of songs when it comes to improving your songs’ overall quality.

4. The more songs you have out there, the more good things happen 

In the end, songwriting is a numbers game. I’ve always believed that as songwriters we have to reach some critical mass of effort before we start to have success with our songs. Not that it’s exactly like this but if you think of each of your songs as a lottery ticket, the more tickets you buy, the greater the likelihood that one of them will be the winning number. On a slightly less poetic note, writing more songs simply improves your odds of the songs getting noticed and connecting with people in the music industry. I feel I should mention that it’s not just the writing of the songs that counts but your effort in getting your songs out in the world. In other words, don’t forget to pitch your songs.

Conclusion

Given that I wrote songs for fifteen years before I had my first major label cut, I feel like I can speak with a certain authority about how writing songs gets more fun the longer you do it. I’m living proof that if you stick with it, things can – and will – improve. Otherwise put, when in doubt, keep writing.

Good Luck!

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4 responses to “Four Reasons Why Writing Songs Gets More Fun The Longer You Do it”

  1. great stuff…and, all right on…
    for me, two things that are integral to my life,
    were very difficult in the beginning:
    meditation and songwriting…
    it took me decades to get my monkey mind to stop squawking, and it took fifteen years to find my writing voice….as, i sat with a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary, churning out “moon/june/tune” drivel,
    before i threw away the first 300 songs, and started over…
    several epiphanies helped the process….
    the first was realizing that everything we create is a self-portrait, so i didn’t have to be the obvious protaganist in every saga, and the second was to discover that a song
    is just a ditty, until it becomes a track…as, the holy trinity of
    music: writing / arranging / and producing are all writing,
    when you do it right…so, a song is more than a nursery rhyme, some semblance of a simple melody, and a generic beat…if you dial it all in, all of those things are original and they ARE the song…the right guitar lick, the right snare sound, etc. are all “hooks” that complete the process…
    but, the ultimate lesson is to stop writing for others, and learn to write for yourself….because this world celebrates those of us who dare to be uniquely ourselves…
    good luck….

  2. Thanks for the post. Reminded me to keep at it for the enjoyment, and just to keep stretching the songwriting muscles.

  3. Bernice Souleyrette says:

    Thanks for this post. I needed this reminder today. I glean something from everything of yours that I read. Today I was discouraged and this was a lift.
    Thanks,

  4. Cliff says:

    Delighted it helped Bernice!

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