by India McCarty

Songwriting is all about creativity. You get that burst of inspiration and run to your guitar or piano to hammer out your next song. It’s easy to rely on those creative flashes, but in order to grow as a writer, you should try to write on a schedule.

Creating one song can take lots of work and experimentation, which is why some artists spend months – or even years – finishing an album. However, the long amounts of time artists use to work on songs is often because they feel they should only work when they feel inspired. This line of thinking can cause problems in the long run: if you only work when you feel like it, you might not end up working much at all.

By keeping to a schedule when writing, your creative output increases. Sure, not every song is going to be a winner, but by flexing those writing muscles on a regular basis, you can hone your skills as a writer.

Every songwriter has preferences and opinions when it comes to writing. Some people love working on lyrics, while others could spend all day figuring out the perfect melody. Creating and adhering to a schedule means that you’re making time for every part of the songwriting process, whether it’s your favorite part or not.

A schedule can also just help you keep things straight. Writing, recording, producing and releasing music involves so many moving parts; a schedule can make the process a little less intimidating.

It’s best to keep things specific, especially when looking at a day-to-day plan. For example, you might decide to spend the day finishing a song you already started and then record the demo vocals. It’s also a good idea to schedule in some free writing time; you never know what you might end up with!

Sometimes life will get in the way of not only your long-term career goals, but of your everyday writing practice. Obviously, nothing can remove these distractions completely, but do your best to carve out some time to write. Maybe have a specific block of time in the day that is dedicated to writing. It’s not always going to be easy to stick to the schedule, but your writing will improve in the long run.

When people think about making music, they rarely ever think about scheduling. Sure, it might not fit the cool, rock-and-roll image songwriting usually carries, but it can deliver great results. If you’re working on a big project, or just want to improve your writing skills, creating a schedule can help you make time for writing; even if inspiration hasn’t struck yet.

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