How to Deal with Crippling Self Doubt, the Roller Coaster of Emotions, and Love Your Songs Again


Sarah Spencer

Perfectionism. Comparison. Defeat. Paralyzing self-doubt. All of these things are par for the course for creatives. Here's what songwriters can do when they're at the bottom of the roller coaster. |, songwriting tips and inspiration for the contemporary songwriter.
  1. Deep breaths.
  2. Do you love to write songs? Like, most days, do you really enjoy it?
  3. Yes? Ok, another deep breath. Then move to step 4.
  4. Your latest song does not equal your entire worth as a songwriter.

Let’s look at that one again.

Your latest song does not equal your entire worth as a songwriter.

There’s a lot packed inside that little statement. Let’s start to pull it apart.

Think about the last song you wrote. Did you like it? How did it make you feel? Accomplished? Depressed? Excited? Ready to smash your guitar?

Let’s talk about why you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself, even if you’ve been spitting out total clunkers lately.

You will write many, many, many more songs.

There are so many more songs inside you. Every song you’ve written before this one was clearly not your last song. You have more to write. And the more you write, the closer you get to finding your groove. Your voice. Your message! Even as that message changes over time.

The more you write the better you get. And the more you write, the easier it gets.

Think of all the great songs that are still inside of you. The only way you’ll ever get to meet them is if you keep writing.

Think of how much you’ve already grown.

Remember what you were writing last year?

Exercise time:

Go back through your catalog and listen to your old songs. Look at the songs you wrote last year. Look at songs you write a few years ago. Can you hear how you’ve changed? How you’ve grown?

Every season of your songwriting life, you grow. You get better. So every now and then, it’s worth a trip down memory lane to remind yourself how far you’ve already come. If you keep writing, the only way to go is up!

The highs and the lows are totally a thing.

If you feel like some days you’re at the top of a mountain, and other days you’re falling wildly out of control on some torturous roller coaster designed specifically to scare you into never writing another song again… well, unfortunately, welcome to the topsy-turvy world of being a creative.

These ups and downs will never really go away. Not fully. Your creative life will be dappled with them.

Some days you’ll be so inspired and full of creative mojo that you’re constantly writing. Other days, everything will feel like trash and you’ll wonder why you’re not succeeding like all your songwriter idols.

Know that this is a thing. It happens to all creative types. You are not alone when you are struggling at the bottom of your roller coaster.

The thing is to remember that for every low, there is a high. Learn your own creative rhythms and come up with the rituals, treatments, and strategies that work for you to manage your lows. Treat yourself with a little bit of grace during these periods, get through them, and come back up swinging.

You’re allowed to have fun.

Every time you write a song, you’re totally allowed to enjoy it!

That might sound obvious, but sometimes we need a little permission* to just have fun and enjoy songwriting. Not every single thing you write has to be a banger.

*Even though it’s like, totally silly and you don’t actually need anyone’s permission at all. But it can be nice to hear it. So here it is: You have full permission from me/the universe/your family/your past self/your future self to have fun writing songs. Heck, if you want SongFancy’s permission to enjoy songwriting, here you go! You have my stamp of approval. Go have fun!

I’ve created an online course just for you!

It’s called Living an Inspired Life: How to Find Song Ideas, and it will take you from uninspired, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants songwriter to a prolific, creative-minded idea machine.

Living an Inspired Life will:

  • Help you change your mindset around inspiration
  • Guide you with small video lessons and exercises
  • Show you how to see song ideas everywhere

Following through with the exercises in this course will help you establish lifelong creative habits. Check it out here! More details and a sneak peek on this page. See you inside the course!

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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 or purchase her debut EP, "Freshman Year" on iTunes.