How to Find Inspiration as a Songwriter

There will come times when you will be struggling with finding inspiration. It can be anything from not having the desire to pick up your instrument or struggling to let the lyrics flow. Lacking the inspiration to create is normal for any artist.

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Here are a few ways that may help you find inspiration for your songwriting:

  • Keep a Journal: There are amazing things you can find out about yourself when you put pen to paper and write out what you’re feeling. You can also record your dreams, including as much detail as you can remember. Even practice a couple of lines of poetry since it’s so similar to lyricism. The main goal is to declutter your mind so that you can find that creative spark again.
  • Observe Nature: There is a lot we can learn from nature. Go for a walk and find a place to sit with your notebook and portable instrument if you have one. Pay attention to the birds chirping or the rhythm of the breeze in the trees. The fresh air may also help clear your mind and allow you to focus better.
  • Play Around: It wouldn’t hurt to play around. If you’re a lyricist, play around with wordplay. If you play an instrument, mess around with chords and melodies. It might also be time to try something new, like learning an instrument you’ve never played before or learning a new skill. If you’re interested in musical arrangements, check out our course on arranging woodwind instruments here.
  • Learn Your Favourite Artist: A lot of inspiration can come from studying someone you admire. You can learn their backstory, their struggles before their career started, and their creative process. For example- many musicians audio record their ideas as part of their creative process.
  • Find Someone to Collab With: Fresh ideas can go a long way. Sometimes you need someone trustworthy who gets your creativity to help polish up your songs. Collaborators can also help you when you get stuck. Billie Eilish’s brother, Finneas, produces and co-writes her songs, helping her win awards. Finding a mentor will also help by giving you advice and boosting your career.
  • Consume Other Mediums: A lot of artists get inspired by other artists. Many musicians make references to movies or books in their songs. Immerse yourself in someone else’s created world. Pay attention to the characters and story beats to transfer that to your storytelling method with music by writing your own.
  • Take a Break: Unfortunately, creative burnout is a real thing. Putting too much pressure on yourself or outside stresses can be examples of what causes creative burnout. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a break and explore stress management techniques that will help prevent another burnout in the future. Take as long as you need until you find that inspiration to create music again.

When looking for inspiration to create, the aim is to have fun. Enjoy the process, and don’t worry too much about the outcome. 

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