david santistevan


Songwriter Stagnation

Ever go through long periods of not writing anything? And even when you try it is so terrible that you feel you have lost your songwriting gift? Out of desperation you listen a top 40 song and and copy its form. Still, it sucks.

Been there?

I want to encourage you songwriters here for a few moments. That is absolutely normal. Consider these songwriting helps. They may just save you from prolonged songwriter stagnation:

  • Lots of bad songs need to be written before you ever write a truly good one.
  • Don’t try and write a hit song. Just pour out your heart. Make sure what you are saying is worth saying anyway.
  • Go for a walk (away from people) and sing melodies apart from your musical instrument. Believe me, it works.
  • Listen to a musical style that you aren’t naturally inclined to. Try and mimic the chord progressions. It will stretch you out of your current ‘box’.
  • Go buy Future of Forestry music. Get inspired.
  • Co-write with someone who is better than you. Learn how they work.
  • Read this great book. Not just for worship leaders, by the way.
  • Take time to pray. Ask God to clarify what He is doing in your heart.
  • Journal. Write for the purpose of getting your heart on page, not for a song.
  • Learn a new instrument (I want a banjo and a ukelele and anything else I don’t currently own). Sometimes new tones can inspire new songs.
  • Do a spontaneity session. Play your instrument. Sing random melodies out of the Psalms or whatever. Persevere with this and don’t give up when it’s terrible.
  • Ask trusted professionals to critique your work. Honestly. Take to heart what they say.
  • Be fully present in the ‘moment’. Don’t be stuck in the past and overly concerned with the future. Learn from the circumstances, people, and places you are currently in. The best songs come from people who are fully present in the ‘now’.

October 8, 2009 - Posted by | Songwriting


  1. bro you need to take your own advice on that fourth point and listen to a little more brutality here and there.

    Comment by marksantistevan | October 9, 2009 | Reply

    • Haha hardcore DS!

      Comment by Brendon Robinson | October 26, 2009 | Reply

  2. )))))))))

    Comment by Jiri Grohmann | October 10, 2009 | Reply

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