Human creativity in music has been a mystery until recent studies revealed how to create a stunning boost in creative power...
By Geoff Williams:
What separates an average songwriter from an AMAZING songwriter?
I’d like to share with you my thoughts on this, and perhaps the most crucial concept that you need to understand to write your best music and lyrics.
The concept I’m talking about is how to be inspired.
You hear people throw around the term “inspiration” a lot. But do you really understand what it means?
For that matter, do the artists that say the term “inspiration” really know what they are describing?
Well, I researched the topic of inspiration for many years, and after all this research I can honestly say…
Now this is a disturbing thought, as being “inspired” is one of the keys if you want to write excellent music and lyrics.
So let’s drill down into what inspiration really is, and how you can master this strange event and deliberately cause it to happen to you over and over again.
What I’ve discovered (which is extremely fascinating) is that it’s possible to “set up” the creativity process within yourself. And when you do this, by the end of the process you suddenly have a large influx of high quality ideas. Sometimes so many ideas that it’s hard to keep track of them all!
Inspiration is part of this creative process. In fact, it’s the very last step…
If you look up the term “inspiration” in the oxford dictionary, it will say something along the lines of “a timely idea”.
Now, after looking at the way musical artists have moments of inspiration, and the feelings and emotions that accompany them, I feel there is a little more to inspiration than just a “timely idea”.
However, no matter how stale and boring this dictionary interpretation is, the most important function of an “inspired moment” is the idea that comes out of it.
I mentioned a moment ago that inspiration is part of the creativity process. And this process has a number of steps involved.
Ok. Let’s go through them.
By the way, these four steps require much more explanation than I can fit into this short article. If you want to discover the full step-by-step instructions to harnessing the full power of your creativity as a musical artist, you need to check out my book The Songwriting Genius Within You. You can learn more about it here.
This first stage of the creativity process is called the “intention” stage. This is where you actually choose what you would like to create. You do this by setting an intention to your unconscious mind, so it can begin creating and making this intention a reality.
The truth is that your mind is an incredibly powerful device. And when you choose a purpose for your mind, it will go about creating what’s needed to fulfill this purpose.
Once you’ve set your intention, you move into stage two of the creativity process.
The second step in the creativity process is the “Information” stage.
This step requires taking in the information that will assist your mind in creating the intention that you set in step one.
There are a few different types of information that you can “take in” that will cause you to create to your full potential.
For example, have you ever learned how to play songs created by your favorite artist, and then some of this persons “style” magically began showing up in your own music?
This is just one way of “taking in information” that aids the creativity process. It’s like giving your mind the “meat” it needs to concoct the amazing musical ideas you want to generate.
The third stage of the creativity process is the “incubation” stage. What this stage is about is giving your mind the time it needs to create ideas that match up with the intention you set in step one of the process.
Now this idea of “incubation” is a very misunderstood topic, but you can get a full explanation of how to effortlessly manage this aspect of the creativity process in my book, The Songwriting Genius Within You.
In this you will actually find specific examples of how some of the “greats” such as Mozart and Thomas Newman (Composer of many award winning movie scores) use the incubation period as a massive advantage in their music creation processes.
Ok, so finally we come to the step that counts!
Step four is… you guessed it… the inspiration stage!
This is where the most fun happens, because when you do the three other steps correctly, amazing things begin to happen…
Once enter the “inspiration stage” of the creativity process, ideas will begin coming to you, seemingly out of thin air.
For example, you’ll be doing something completely unrelated to music, and all of a sudden you’ll notice a musical idea playing in your head. And not just any idea…
An inspired idea of stunning quality!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrambled to my instrument to document an amazing musical idea that “hit me” out of nowhere due to setting up this creativity process.
And the best thing is, once you begin documenting these ideas that come to you, they will CONTINUE to come thick and fast!
I feel that the most rewarding thing about being a musical artist is these moments of “inspiration” that you experience when you go through this process. And also, being able to deliberately “set up” the conditions so YOU control when and where this happens is SO valuable.
Think about this. If you want to be a professional musician, you will NEED to be able to continually be able to come up with fresh material that is inspiring and interesting.
Now, this may sound like a tough proposition. But the fact is that your brain is so incredibly powerful and creative, that once you know how to engage it in the right way, you will suddenly have access to UNLIMITED creativity.
This means you will have the ability to write original, inspiring pieces of music over and over again!
Once again, if you are interested in discovering this creativity within yourself, please check out my book which contains full instructions to this creativity process (as well as many other crucial songwriting concepts).