Inspiration Productivity

Songwriting is More than Magic, it’s Hard Work

Songwriting is more than magic - it's hard work. --- Songwriting tips and inspiration for the contemporary songwriter . |

Inspiration is a wonderful thing, but it’s only part of the equation.

Inspiration is that gorgeous little spark that lights us up from the inside. We suddenly stop what we’re doing and we say to ourselves, “I have to write that song! Now! RIGHT NOW.”

So you stop what you’re doing and you pull out your guitar or piano bench and start composting. Chorus. First verse. It’s all coming together. But then, just as quickly as as it came, it starts to feel like that little light has burned out. You’re left plucking the same notes over and over again, hammering the keys and feeling like you’ve completely hit a wall.

Inspiration is that spark that gets the engine started. But it’s hard work that fuels it.

Songwriting is a lot like that. That little spark of inspiration? That’s the 10% that you always hear about. Songwriting is also 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Progressing as a songwriter means putting in a ton of hard work. Relying only on inspiration will never truly grow your catalog or your abilities. Here are some more reasons why:

1. Hard work helps you write better songs.

When you show up to play the game day after day, you can’t help but progress as a writer. It’s that practicing day in and day out that keeps your songwriting muscles in shape. Whether you’re excited about writing a particular song, or if you simply showed up to finish one because you know it would be good for you, that’s good old fashioned hard work. And it will serve you well.

2. Hard work manages your expectations & sets milestones.

When you write only when you’re inspired to, all expectations go out the window. How can you ever set goals for yourself if you never know when you’ll be able work toward them? Inspiration comes of it’s own volition. It’s not something you can count on to show up every night at a certain time. When you can’t set goals for yourself, you’ll never really know if you’re progressing and you’ll wind up feeling defeated more often than not.

3. Hard work helps you be a happier songwriter.

Ever feel really great after a super hard work out? Or what about that feeling of accomplishment that comes from putting in the time and sweat equity on something that’s important to you? What about crossing that finish line? Working hard on your songwriting will give you that feeling, too! Some days may be a struggle. You may have to run a shorter distance, or life a smaller weight, but if you show up and work at it, you can take pride in your effort and celebrate your accomplishments.

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Want to learn some great habits to help you work harder on your songwriting? 

Check out “Living an Inspired Life: How to Find Song Ideas” – SongFancy’s flagship course on managing inspiration and building better songwriter habits. We’re previewing a free section of the course, so sign up below to preview the course today and start feeling excited to write again!


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  • Brenda Mueller

    Great read! It’s the hard work behind the scenes that makes it sound like magic.

    • Sarah Spencer

      You got it, Brenda! Sometimes we’re lucky enough to have a first draft come out amazing. But more often than not, it needs a lot of extra elbow grease to bring it to it’s full potential! Happy writing!