You *want* to work on your songs, you really do. You’re just so busy, and you don’t know where to start, and you have so many half-finished ones that you’re not sure what to work on first.
This is something every musician deals with, myself included. I’m giving myself advice here and I’ll be taking this challenge along with you. Whether you’re an artist yourself or a behind-the-scenes songwriter like me, we’ve all got stacks of songs we haven’t finished.
If a song is never released, what’s the point of making it? You might say “creative expression,” but that’s garbage and we know it. Music was meant to be heard! If no one’s hearing it, why make it? Let’s get those songs finished and out to the world!
Songwriting Tips to Finish and Release Your Music
If you’re trying any of these, please tweet me and let me know – I’ll support you!I'm going to finish some songs this week! Click To Tweet
1). Envision the Best Possible Outcome for your music
You finally win that Grammy. A major label offers you a contract. Your favorite artist records the song. If these things aren’t motivating you, take a moment to *really* envision it. How do you feel? The elation, the sense of accomplishment, the feeling of accomplishing your wildest, biggest dreams.
These are worth fighting for!
2). Make a List of Things You Need in Order to Continue
Maybe you struggle with lyric writing. Maybe you need a mixer, or maybe your stack of songwriting tips doesn’t cover that *one* thing you don’t know. Make a list of what you need, then go out and get it. Find a lyricist or co-writer to work with. Hire a mixer. Research that songwriting tip you need in order to continue.
This is your opportunity to splurge a little, also. Will that shiny new guitar really help you write better? Maybe not, but it might motivate you to actually sit down and do it. Don’t be careless with your finances of course, but if you’ve had your eye on something for a while, maybe use it as motivation.
3). Write Out Absolutely Everything You Need to Do
The larger steps of Write-Record-Mix-Master-Release can be completely overwhelming. Take each of those and break them down into each and every individual step. So, the Write step might look like this:
- Finish lyrics
- Redo the bridge
- Ask songwriter friend for feedback
- Try new chord structure
Now you know exactly what steps to take. If you can only get one done today, that’s still better than nothing!
If you want to join The Melluminati, I have a free checklist of all of these steps! It’s a fillable PDF so you can write each step on your computer.
4). Accept the Confusion and Work With It
You might be totally lost when you start. Maybe you forgot the point of the song, or you just aren’t in that headspace anymore. This is normal, and it’s okay! You WILL be confused and lost when you start.
Just start. You’ll never find your way to the end of your song if you don’t start. You can even use the confusion to your advantage by working that into your song. Sometimes just writing through your current feelings will help you find what you really need.
5). Remember, You Are Not Your Songs
The idea that your songs define you is what paralyzes a lot of people. You’re allowed to write bad songs. You WILL write bad songs. They don’t mean you’re a bad songwriter. Hell, even if you write a fantastic song, some people still won’t like it.
When you remove the need to be perfect from your art, you allow yourself the freedom to be more creative. Maybe you need to write a few bad hooks to get to the good one, so don’t stop yourself from writing them!
6). Set a Release Date or Hold Yourself Accountable
I’ve learned that when I tell my YouTube viewers that I’m going to do something, I have a much higher chance of doing it. When I take MasterClass courses, I never finish the ones I don’t blog or vlog about. (I’ve done Christina Aguilera, Reba McEntire and Deadmau5 here on my blog if you’re curious).
There are different schools of thought on whether announcing your goals is a good idea. I think for musicians, a release date is a perfect way to make sure you’ll get things done. Make sure it’s an attainable goal (not like, tomorrow). How long do you need to feasibly finish a song and release it? Mark that date on your calendar and post about it online. Now you have to get it done!
Tweet to your followers about when they can expect your next single:My next song will be released on (date)! Click To Tweet
I hope these songwriting tips will help you finish your songs! Let me know if you have any other questions, tips or ideas!
If procrastination is a real problem for you in general (like it is for me), here is a helpful article about the reasons behind it and how to combat it.
For More Songwriting Tips, Check My Category Here!
Songwriting Tips to Beat Procrastination:
- ENVISION THE BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME FOR YOUR MUSIC
- MAKE A LIST OF THINGS YOU NEED IN ORDER TO CONTINUE
- WRITE OUT ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO DO
- ACCEPT THE CONFUSION AND WORK WITH IT
- REMEMBER, YOU ARE NOT YOUR SONGS
- SET A RELEASE DATE OR HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE