The topics will be found and writing itself is the best reason and excuse for writing! We all know how easily the words and melodies flow when we’ve been inspired by a life event to create. But skilled writers know, to be a master of their craft, they must write whether they feel like it or not. They are in love with writing and enjoy writing on a near daily basis. They realize they don’t have to wait on inspiration to strike. They begin the task and invite inspiration to join them.
Skilled songwriters are process-oriented. They are focused on the act of writing. They are caught up in the moment while they are writing. Able to block out external distractions as well as internal. They use the process to stay focused and the overall goal as the rudder to steer their efforts. They are deliberate in their work, which allows them to avoid being over-emotionally attached to or judgmental when it comes to the song at hand. When they are writing, they are 100% dedicated to the writing and don’t think of anything else, and by blocking any possibilities of disturbance, they just don’t let any distraction to get them out of the “high” they got from the process of writing.
Skilled songwriters can write what they feel in ways that make sense to others. Again, skilled songwriters think about what they are writing in terms of how others might interpret it. Songs are a conversation with the listener. If the writer / singer is feeling the impact of the song but the audience is not, then it’s not an effective song. It’s also a good habit to get feedback from mentors and people who you respect to make sure your songs are received the way you’ve intended. They seriously consider the listener and how the listener’s brain would process what they just heard. One good practice for this is when you are writing a song, you start singing it to yourself as a listener and see how you would feel when you hear the song and pretend you don’t know the back story or the process of thoughts that led to this song. Do you still feel each and every word? If so, you are on the right path. If not, you need to think more about your craft.
Skilled songwriters appreciate different perspectives. It’s difficult to be a skilled songwriter if you are not be open to ideas that differ from your own. This doesn’t mean agreeing; it simply means being open to all sides. The ability to look at a situation from all angles give the skilled writer extra depth when writing lyrics. And affords the creator options to writing the song the best way possible. They are very open to criticism as long as it’s not destructive. They had already accepted the fact that there are billions of people in this world, therefore there are billions of opinions and there might be people thinking different that them. They don’t need to convince those people to think like them but to just hear the other opinions and sometimes to apply the ones they find logical on their songs.
Skilled songwriters keep learning. It has been reported that people learning to juggle increased the grey matter in their occipital lobes, this is the area of the brain associated with visual memory. When the same individuals stopped practicing their new skill, this brain matter disappeared. Similarly when songwriting there is a “use-it-or-lose-it” phenomenon that occurs. Skilled writers are always learning more about their craft. They study other songs and songwriters. And write often!
Skilled Songwriters cultivate a curious nature. How does one cultivate curiosity? Simply, by asking questions and refusing to accept things at face value. Skilled writers want to know how, what, when, why and where? It’s this curiosity that drives them to dig deeper into understanding human nature and write songs that resonate on a deeper emotional level.
Skilled learners are good observers. Skilled songwriters study the many details of life and events happening around them and pick up on the things that are most useful to them; filtering out the rest. They are observant whether they are reading a text or listening to a sermon at Sunday morning church. They know that truly great ideas for their art come from every day. They keep themselves updated about the news of the world and they constantly reading books, papers and articles. Many times they get their ideas from these readings or when they are writing something, these reads can help them to look at it from different angles and write something that listeners can related better.
Skilled songwriters are frequently trying things. Why is this important? Trying new things keeps the brain sharp. It also keeps your creative channels open. We are most creative when we are exploring. Trying new grooves, rhyme schemes, chord changes, etc, lead us to new creative places we never imagined going. Skilled songwriters know that doing the same thing over and over again lead only to creative ruts and boring songs. Skilled writers also know this is even more importantly applied to living life. Learning new hobbies and exploring the world around them can only lead to more fodder for their art.
Skilled songwriters always keep the big picture in mind. They know that writing is often a roller coaster of victories and valleys. Some days the creative juices are overflowing and other days you can feel like a frustrated beginner. There are times when the world is applauding your art and times when even your closest friends question why you do it. It’s the ability to look at the big picture that allows the skilled songwriter to ride the highs and lows with knowing faith that in the end the world is a better place because of music and art. And that struggle is often a necessary ingredient to creating great music.
Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with 20 years of experience in songwriting, music production, mix and mastering. He has written and produced more than 5,000 published songs to-date, including some major hits in international scale.