3 Major Myths about Where Great Song Ideas Come From


Sarah Spencer

All creatives get duped into believeing one thing: that we are hopelessly dependent on the whim of the muse. Here's what you can do to break the spell: | Songwriting tips at SongFancy.com

Ok, so if you read my last post on the perpetuated untruth of magical inspiration, then you know this is something I’m passionate about.

It makes me so sad to see other creatives sitting around, lost, waiting for a bolt of inspiration to propel them to create. Y’all, you have so much more creative potential to offer the world – you’re not doomed to a life of artistic frustration! You can absolutely live an inspired, creatively fulfilled life! And it starts with realizing that inspiration is not something you should be waiting around for.

So in this post I really wanted to drive it home and talk specifically about great song ideas.

Think about the great songs in your life. The ones that make you say, “Damn, that’s such a great idea! I wish I would have written that!”

These great song ideas came from somewhere. Here are three common myths we assume when we hear great songs:

“Only gifted writers write amazing songs”

Gifted how? As in, born with it? As in, there are only a small population of extremely lucky, blessed songwriters that were endowed with the magical, divine ability to write songs better than every one else out there?


Of course some writers are much better than others. And it’s good to practice humility and realize that there’s always going to be someone better than us. But presuming that a songwriter is just “naturally gifted” right out of the womb is not only inaccurate, but belittles a lifetime of hard work. Writers with amazing, life changing songs in their catalogs didn’t just happen upon them. They worked really hard to become skilled enough to craft these songs.

Gifted songwriters don’t write amazing songs – hardworking songwriters write amazing songs.

“I used to be able to write great songs, and then I lost my abilities.”

If this is you, you probably felt a little pang of remorse in your heart when you read that. You remember a time when you seemed to be a creative fount overflowing with new songs and new ideas. It was easy for you to write back then, and you feel like you grew out of it. Or maybe life brought you along a course that simply left no more room for songwriting.

I’m telling you right now, girlfriend, all is not lost. You haven’t had the songwriting part of your brain removed. Your spirit might be feeling a bit dejected, but you ability to write songs is like a muscle.  You have to use it, or it will atrophy. But that doesn’t mean it dissapears altogether. With hard work and a belief in yourself, you can absolutely write amazing, moving, incredible songs again.

“I can only write great songs when the inspiration strikes.”

Ok, here we go. Shit’s about to get real.

Yeah, we do occasionally have lightening bolt moments when an idea comes to us. Yes, we can be moved on sometimes by something that seems greater than us, and we write the song, simply feeling like a vehicle for some higher power of creation. This does happen.

But this is not the only way you write a song. And it shouldn’t be the main way you write your songs. Heck no!

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Just like 99.9% of everything else in your life, you have control over when you sit down and start hammering out an idea. There are more ideas for songs out there than people on the planet, and you can absolutely come up with new ideas on the fly when you want to. There is no music orbiting around the planet doling out inspiration that you have to wait in line for. Please please PLEASE read this post if you’re feeling like your creative happiness is dependent on something out of your control. I promise you, with good habits and hard work, you can write whenever you want to!

Staying inspired is one part open mindedness, one part consistency, a lot of being kind to yourself, and a big heaping helping of showing up to the party.

If you want to learn some hands on, super specific, actionable ways to stay creative, I’m launching a course called “Living an Inspired Life: How to Stay Creative, Write More Songs, and Find Your Inspiration in Everyday Life” Sign up using the form below and get updates and the launch date as soon as it’s ready!

SongFancy email list subscribers are my VIP’s. They get the latest info, exclusive subscriber-only resources, and of course, first looks at the new course. Plus, you can always reply to any email and talk songs with me anytime!

#WriteOn, songwriter babes! I know you got it in you!

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Sarah Spencer

Sarah Spencer is an award winning singer/songwriter based in Nashville, TN.

Born in the Sunshine State, Sarah Spencer writes vibrant, shining americana/pop music. She works in Nashville TN as a singer/songwriter, as well as a UX designer for a marketing firm.

Follow Sarah on Spotify to get her latest releases.

You can jump on her email list at SarahSpencer.com or purchase her debut EP, "Freshman Year" on iTunes.