Why You Have a Hard Time Coming up with Good Song Ideas


Sarah Spencer

If you think all your ideas are terrible, read this. If you haven't written a song in ages, read this. If you're struggling with getting back on the songwriting bangwagon, please, read this. | SongFancy, songwriting tips and inspiration for the contemporary songwriter.

Having a great idea to write about can be the difference between writing a song you love, or feeling like you’re wasting your time.

When your ideas are less than inspired, it can be really hard to find to momentum to write. What’s the point in writing songs at all, if your ideas aren’t any good?

So why is it so difficult to come up with great ideas that inspire us to grab our guitars, sit down, and strum it out? The reasons are many: here are a few that might be why you’re holding back.

You feel like your own worst critic.

You hear that awful voice in the back of your mind every time you have an idea: “That sucks! You suck! Don’t do it. This is garbage and you’re a terrible writer.” Ugh! I’m getting angry at this little voice even as I type! You are always going to be your own worst critic, and that critic is the one telling you that your ideas are no good.

Everybody has one of these voices, so it’s incredibly important to learn how to utilize it. When you listen to that voice at the wrong time, it can stifle you from creating anything. But if you learn how to listen at the right time, and not put so much emphasis on the intent behind what it’s saying, you’ll find yourself writing more songs that you love.

You’re not sharing your songs.

When you write a couple songs here and there and keep them to yourself, locked into the private confines of your bedroom or workspace, you don’t give yourself the opportunity to feel the joy that comes from sharing your songs with others. Even more important, you cut yourself off from any social proof that you are, in fact, writing well.

If you love it, set it free. Take a risk and share some of your songs with your friends and family, or even at an open mic night. It will feel like taking a giant leap of faith, but you’ll feel amazing when the last notes ring out, and the audience applauds. Or even better – when someone comes up to you after the show and tells you how much your song meant to them. MAJOR heart eyes!

You’ve never taken a songwriting course or workshop.

Sometimes it’s hard to only weigh your ideas against yourself and your friends. Learning the craft of songwriting can do wonders for your confidence. It will help you sort out what works, what doesn’t, and why. Becoming the best songwriter you can be starts with lots of learning and lots of fearless experimentation. A.k.a. Learning the rules, so you can break them and use them how you see fit!

A good place to start on your song-idea journy is SongFancy’s very own songwriting school, The Writing Room. We’re launching our first course this week, and it’s all about finding ideas and living in constant creative-mode.

You’re not keeping track of your ideas.

I know sometimes you have an idea come to you, and the first thing you think is, “Oh cool, I’ll write that later.” Then you forget what that awesome idea was. #Oops. When you don’t write down your ideas, you don’t have anything to write about! Give your brain a break and write down all your ideas in a special notebook or folder on your computer. That back log of ideas will be so inspiring as you start to fill it up. You’ll always be able to flip through it anytime you sit down to write.

And fun fact: sometimes, those “bad ideas” actually start to look like amazing ideas a few days later! Keep even the bad ones. You never know how you might write that idea on a different day, or with a co-writer.

Want to try some inspiring song prompts to write from? Join the 5 in 5 Song Challenge!

We’ll be writing 5 songs in 5 days, rapid fire. I’ll give you a prompt to start from, you just have to show up and write. You can find more info and a sing up form here, or simply register below.

Grab your spot now – we do these challenged throughout the year, so if you can’t make this month’s, you’ll be notified of the next one. Hope to see you inside!


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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.