Have you ever felt the annoying, perpetual dissatisfaction of lingering writer’s block? You wait for the magical moment of inspiration that just never seems to arrive. Fortunately for you, this isn’t an uncommon problem and there are many ways to recover from the creative blight. The very first step is to realize that your magical inspiration may NEVER actually hit you.
This is exactly what a seven-day songwriting challenge is about; breaking through your creative blocks and recovering your creative flow!
Before I start rambling on about the details, what exactly is a seven song week? Well, beginning on Friday May 5th the participants of this event will attempt to write seven songs in seven days! You don’t have to be a pro songwriter to benefit from this challenge. The point of this exercise is to practice caring less about your music so you don’t get caught in a “loop”. The songs should be as complete as you can get them, without agonizing about the details. This means swift decision making with your focus on reaching the finishing stages of your composition process. Remember, You can always go back after the seven-day challenge to the songs you really like to refine them. There are no restrictions here for the genre. You are welcome to write any type of music, with or without lyrics. If you find yourself in a bit of a creative rut, I will be posting a songwriting prompt every day during the challenge to help you get started.
In the evening of the eighth day of this challenge (Friday, May 12th at 7pm), I will be hosting a free listening party at a venue in Halifax (Kamphyre Studios on Almon). There will be beer, cider, coffee and other drinks available at the bar (maybe even popcorn!). If you feel comfortable with sharing, bring your compositions from the week along on your phone or a USB stick to showcase your work to the group. This is an opportunity to mingle and share feedback with other Nova Scotian songwriters and producers.
If you’re a perfectionist paralyzed by your own quality standards, the above exercises can help you shake yourself loose. Take a deep breath, lower your quality standards, and make a rush at it—there’s always time to pick nits later, when you’re revisiting and revising these hurried tunes. (http://nicholastozier.com/4-fast-paced-songwriting-methods/)
The group aspect of this exercise is important for a plethora of reasons, which are reasons why I encourage you to register! (There aren’t any costs involved in registering).
Firstly, by officially joining the challenge you are announcing to some of your human peers that you are going to do your best to complete the challenge which adds a degree of subconscious motivation to developing your daily routine.
Secondly, because every participant will essentially be experiencing similar challenges during the week, your user profile will allow you to reach out for help or inspiration through the Seven Day Challenge Forum. The daily prompts will be shared on the forum as well.
Thirdly, this challenge is an opportunity for songwriters, producers, and recording specialists to mingle with other songwriters, producers, and recording specialists! (Do I sense some collaboration potential there?!).
Fourthly, share your music with people who will actually listen to your tracks (as opposed to posting your tunes in the vast internet).
Finally, this is an opportunity to accept suggestions on how to better improve your overall production workflow.
The (Suggested) Rules:
1.Start a new song EVERY DAY
Remember that your songs don’t have to be “good”, they just have to be “done” (whatever that means). Do your best to avoid getting caught up in the details. You can always come back to refine your composition after the week is through.
This songwriting concept is not a new idea! There are composers and producers all over the world experimenting with interesting ways to channel their creativity! If you are interested in reading into this seven in seven challenge further, have a look at a few of these sites:
Immersion Composition Society
Mellender and Dobson found themselves completely overtaken by a burning desire to play this game as often as possible, and, naturally, they started telling all of their friends about it. (http://www.ics-hub.org/writings)
14 songs in 28 days
The goal is simple: pledge to write about one new song every other day for the shortest month of the year. Just because you can! Do what the pros do: show up and start making music. (http://fawm.org/)