It’s finally 2021, so it’s time to share my songwriting resolutions for the new year. I’ve spent the past week thinking a lot about the songwriting resolutions I want to make. In 2019, I made the decision to pursue songwriting, and now, I want to commit to my dreams more than ever. Every year, I make resolutions and like many others, my hold on them fades as the year goes on. I thought I’d do something different this year. By sharing my songwriting resolutions, I hope I’ll be able to stay true to them. Also, for all of you aspiring songwriters out there, having this list of my songwriting resolutions might give your songwriting direction this year. So, let me get into each of my songwriting resolutions.
Always Be Honest
When I started songwriting, I was afraid to be real and raw. Songwriting is such a personal form of expression, and I felt like I held back from being myself and sharing my story. After writing and recording many songs, I began to realize that I wasn’t connecting to my own songs. Why? Because they weren’t honest. They weren’t authentic. Beginning in the summer of 2019, I decided to always be honest because if I can connect to my music, others will, too, no matter how vulnerable the songs are. I tried to keep this mindset throughout 2020. Still, I found myself wanting to hold back at times. This year, I’m going to be as honest as possible. My favorite songwriters are always real and transparent with their feelings and experiences, and I want to be as well. I’m looking forward to all the songs waiting to be written this year.
I’ve always struggled with confidence. Sometimes, I find myself worrying too much about what others think. For this reason, I don’t always put myself out there. I’m realizing that the only way to get anywhere in the music industry is to take chances. How is someone going to take a chance on me if I don’t take a chance on myself? This year, one of my songwriting resolutions is to stay confident. Instead of shying away from opportunities, I’m going to go after them. Instead of holding back from making connections, I’m going to connect with as many songwriters and artists as possible. Most of all, instead of doubting myself, I’m going to believe in myself.
Do Sensory Freewriting As Much as Possible
Sensory freewriting is a technique I learned when I attended a fabulous songwriting retreat with Andrea Stolpe in August of 2020. Since the retreat, I’ve used this technique to stay inspired and to get fresh ideas when I find myself hitting a wall while writing lyrics. Basically, this technique involves thinking of a place, object, concept, or any other idea that sparks inspiration. This can also be used when writing from the title of a song. What I love most about this technique is how ideas continue to flow effortlessly. When I freewrite, I’m not thinking of how the words I’m writing can become lyrics. I’m just getting all my thoughts, feelings, and sensory imagery onto a page. Afterward, when I go back through what I wrote, I’m always thrilled with the lyric ideas waiting for me. This technique also allows me to remain honest and authentic. I’ve written some of my favorite songs by freewriting first. This year, I want to make this part of my songwriting routine, rather than something I resort to when I’m stuck. I’m excited to see what songs come to life from freewriting as much as possible.
Hold on to Both Pop and Country
Last year, I began to love country music, which was one of many unexpected things that happened in 2020. After writing and recording pop music for a while, I dove into country with wonder and excitement. The genre was fresh to me, and I wrote several country songs last year. At the end of 2020, I found myself in a country music phase. I struggled to write a single pop song for a few weeks, and this really bothered me. Pop has been my favorite genre ever since I was little. Just because I love country now doesn’t mean I can leave pop behind. On New Year’s Eve, I finally was able to start writing a new pop song I love, and I finished the first draft of it on New Year’s Day. In the days that followed, I made some changes. Now, I have a pop song ready to be recorded. Writing this song reminded me how much pop music is a part of me. So, one of my songwriting resolutions is to hold on to both pop and country. Of course, I’ll have moments where I’m more connected to one genre over the other, but I won’t let one of them slip away. Pop and country allow me to strengthen different areas of my songwriting, so I’ll be sure to allow both genres to help me grow as a songwriter.
Never Forget the Beauty of Songwriting
Finally, I’d like to wrap up my songwriting resolutions with a very important one. This year, I’ll never forget the beauty of songwriting. Music has always been something I can turn to. It never lets me down, no matter what I’m going through. I started songwriting because it allows me to express my thoughts and feelings in ways words alone can’t. There’s something so beautiful about reading back the lyrics to one of my songs. The lyrics are like a mirror that validates my feelings. I’ve always referred to songwriting as a form of therapy. I’m aware that songwriting is a gift, and this year, I’ll continue to remind myself that. Of course, songwriting is a ton of fun, and ten-hour studio sessions are my favorite. Still, I have to remember why I started songwriting in the first place and what music brings to the world.
So, there you have it. Those are my songwriting resolutions for 2021. I’m looking forward to what this year has to offer for my music. I have lots of songs in the works that you can find out more about by checking out my studio wrap from 2020. This year, I know these resolutions will allow me to stay focused and committed to my songwriting journey.