I’m going to talk a bit about songwriting and, specifically, finding inspiration. First of all, I’m a big believer in art and beauty being in the eye of the beholder. In other words, if it’s art to you, and if it’s beautiful to you, than it is art and it is beautiful! So . . .you can take inspiration from just about anywhere—if it turns you on and gets you going, that’s all it takes.
I’ve done all sorts of things to find inspiration. Here’s a short list of some of the things that I have done and continue to do to find inspiration (this is by no means every source of inspiration—just the ones that come to mind readily for me!):
• Read—it expands your vocabulary and is a great way to get ideas for “storylines” for your songs.
• Take walks—go out and look around. Look up. Look down. See how the things around you are interacting with each other. Notice flowers, people, insects, the sky, the weather, etc. The sources of inspiration out there are pretty much unlimited!
• Be genuinely interested in people—talk to people. Notice people and how they interact. Strike up a conversation with someone on a bus or an airplane. Notice couples in love making out on the park bench. Notice people fighting with each other. Whatever—just be legitimately interested in people and notice them (this includes the people that you personally interact with on a daily basis!).
• Be genuinely interested in yourself—this might seem a bit obvious, but you are a fountain of brilliance, creativity, emotions, etc. Take a look inside once in awhile. Having a crappy day? Write about it. Not only will you get some lyrics—you might feel better to boot! Having a great day? Write about that too—you might make someone else’s day with your song, and it will make you feel even better as well!
• Daydream—nothing is impossible in art. If you can dream it, you can write about it!
• Listen to lots of music and appreciate lots of art—be inspired by other artists’ creation. You can also get ideas of where other artists get their inspiration by doing this
• Fall in love—this may seem all too obvious and cheesy and cliché. BUT…love is one of the biggest sources of inspiration for artists all over the world, and I currently consider it to be my biggest source of inspiration. If you’re already in love with someone, fall in love with them again! Remind yourself of the things about them that turn you on and inspired you to fall in love with them in the first place. Hell, maybe the fire’s died down a bit and this is just the thing you need to rekindle the flames. You might even notice some things about your better half in the process of doing this that you hadn’t picked up on before and create some new sparks!
A lot of these things may seem super obvious to you. That’s precisely the point. Inspiration is around you all the time—all you gotta do is look and be willing to experience it!
Johnnie Ferro – Musician & Artist Synergy Editor