I get messages through email, social media and also in person people admiring how I manage to release song a week, and write so many blog posts. To explain this, I thought to use the opportunity to give you some tools to be able to do something similar, and not only in music, or blog writing, but art in its every form. You can also use this in many other aspects of life. This is my guide into how to boost your creativity.
So lets start with the songs. How do I write regularly? Don’t I suffer from writers blog? I have written about this in the past so I’ll keep this part of the post short. You can teach your creative mind a routine. If you sit down and write regularly, you will come up with more and better material. Before I set out to write the 52 songs in 52 weeks in 2014, I put to my songwriting to a test by writing wife days a week. In a space of month and a half I wrote over thirty songs. Sounds like a lot, but it was like writing a one song, just repeating the process over and over again. The trick is to learn to look for inspiration from as many places as possible and to finish every song. Even if half way through the song you are not feeling it, still finish it. Some songs will never get any further than that. Some need more time to grow on you and some you just know straight away they are great. So give every song a chance.
The blog posts are bit similar, in the beginning it took me long time to write a post. I had plenty of ideas, but it always took me a long time to write them. But the more I wrote, faster I got at it. And once you get up to speed, it is much easier to find your voice. As a result the writing process has sped up a lot more. Now the trickiest part is to come up with the ideas. And again the solution is learning to look for the inspiration, not just wait for it to turn up. Staring at the white page rarely results in anything good. So reach out to the world and look for articles, books, other blog posts, news, Ted talks, material specifically related to your field of interest. And once you have even the smallest idea, the words start to spill on the page like tea pouring form a pot to the cup.
And once you get used to doing these things regularly, then it is a time to turn them in to a routine. Set your self a schedule first for one week. Set out to write every morning, or evening, which ever suits you the best. Do this for one week, no matter what. Don’t let your mind trick you with some excuse why today is not a good day. If you struggle on one of the days, good! There needs to be an element of struggle along the way, and you need to learn how to beat it. In the long run you need to beat it regularly. Once you finish that first week, set your self a schedule to do a full month. The same rules apply. And make sure this is at the top end of your priority list. Just because the American Idol final is on does not mean you can skip your new routine. You had a busy day, you worked hard and you feel like you deserve few beers as a reward? Fine, just get your writing done fist! Just because all your friends are going out is not a valid excuse. If you know there is something that will get on the way, then do your writing (or what ever it is you want to apply this into) earlier on the day. Set a different time aside for it. But under no circumstances let you say to your self “ah sure, I’ll do it tomorrow”. You do this once, and you will fail.
Once you have turned it into your everyday routine, you then need to make sure you also get through the holidays, or other times of your life when the daily routines get disturbed. You can either amp up your work the weeks before you have holidays coming up, and make sure you have material written for the days you are on holidays. Or what I like to do is have few spares written in advance in case things occur that are out of my control, but keep writing while you are on holidays. I always write something on flights these days, I often work at airports, I have written blog posts in hotel rooms, while at beach (usually on my phone) and in a numerous coffee shops all around Europe. I regularly sacrifice 45mins of sleep at the end of a long day to write another blog post. I have written lyrics of songs while on a drive across Germany ( I wasn’t driving). I have written blog posts on my phone while waiting for my food order between a rehearsals and a gig. The trick is not to let the excuse of being busy get on the way of your art.
I know this sounds rough, and you must be thinking I am very disciplined person to be able to do this. But you might be surprised to find out just the opposite is the truth. I am useless at getting things done 😀 That’s why I needed to come up with a way of making these things into a routine. In other words, if I did not have them as a part of my routine, I would never get them done.
And along the way I heard other people “advising” me to take it easy, to not burn out my creativity. I have found it to be the completely opposite. The more I write the more creative I am. And if I take a break, for holidays or touring, the hardest part is getting back into it. But once I get past the first few days, I am back in the routine. Don’t believe creativity is some commodity we will run out someday. This is a lie built on a fear of other people who are not willing to work as hard as you are.
Make it a routine and stick with it. You will be happier person, your fans will love you for it, and you will make many more along the way. You see at the end of the day, it is your content, music , writing art that has to be the basis for everything you do. Before you have it nailed, all the promotional tricks, he best manager, record label or PR company cannot help you. You are the artist, so make art.
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE