Songwriting can be a discouraging endeavor, especially when you're struggling to put together anything that sounds good to you.

The good news is you probably don't need to feel discouraged...

And in this article I'll give you 10 tips for banishing discouragement from your songwriting life.

Write A Hit Song!

Click below to download my free Hit Creation checklist which demystifies the songwriting process and boils down the techniques hit songwriters use into a simple 9-step formula. 

1. Have The Right Mindset

As with just about everything, whether or not you succeed or fail at something usually comes down to your mindset. 

When you run into obstacles or difficulties, how do you mentally respond?

Some songs you write won't be good, but that's okay

Embrace the concept of being "prolific". 


Present in large numbers or quantities; plentiful.

The artist Pablo Picasso is considered to have created 100 "masterpieces".

Wow! That's a lot!

But do you know how many pieces of artwork he published? 

Turns out he created:

  • 13,500 paintings
  • 100,000 graphic prints or engravings
  • 34,000 book illustrations
  • 300 sculptures and ceramics

This means Picasso created a total of 147,800 total artworks, but only 100 of them were considered masterpieces. 

That's a 0.068% rate of creating something "great". 

And yet he is considered a great artist. 

So don't focus on writing a "great" song. Just focus on writing. Be prolific.

Every song written is a win

Look at every song you write as a victory.

Each song you written means you've made improvement. 

Sure, quality is important too, but if you are writing songs intentionally, then each song written will get you closer to the quality you are seeking. 

You don't have to publish every song you write.

However, when it comes to music, "quality" is very subjective. 

Some of the most popular songs of all time weren't very much liked by the bands who created them, and they were only added to albums as filler.

One example of this is the band "Toto", they, "didn't think it should be on the album". 

I don't know about you, but I'm very thankful they decided to include "Africa" on the album and release it. 

2. Write A Lot Of Songs

If you simply write a lot of songs, and get in the habit of just writing...

Then it won't really bother you when any given song doesn't turn out as well as you'd like. 

You know that you're going to be writing a bunch more songs, so it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. 

So write a lot of songs, and it will be hard to feel discouraged.

3. Remember Why You Write Songs

What's your reason fro writing music? Sure you probably enjoy it, but you probably have a bigger reason for writing music. 

Is it to bring joy to others?

Share a message? 

What do you love about songwriting?

If you're feeling discouraged, it may be because you're putting too much pressure on yourself to achieve something...

Rather than just allowing yourself to enjoy the process of songwritting. 

Remember what you love about songwriting, and why you write music, and keep that your focus.

Doing so will actually help you to write better songs too!

4. Listen To Older Successful Songs You've Written

Go back and find those songs you've written in the past and that were a breeze to write.

Remind yourself that you can write good songs, and maybe even take note of what those "good" songs have in common.

Can you recall what your process was when writing them?

Can any part of that process be duplicated as you go about writing a new song?

5. Make Yourself A Songwriting Guide

Speaking of a duplicatable guide, is there a song writing guide you can create for yourself?

Maybe a step-by-step process for how to go from beginning to ending, and what elements you want to include in your different sections?

Obviously, you can always ditch the guide on any individual song you're working on...

But approaching the "canvas" of your DAW is a lot easier if you have a picture in your head of what you want to create, rather than coming to it with a completely blank mind. 

If you want some ideas for a guide, then download my free "Hit Creation Checklist". 

I studied tons of hit songs, and listened to dozens of interviews from the songwriters who wrote them, and compiled all of their wisdom into one handy guide. 

I discovered that there are really 9 key elements that all hit songs have in common, and these elements are things you might want to include in your songs.

Write A Hit Song!

Click below to download my free Hit Creation checklist which demystifies the songwriting process and boils down the techniques hit songwriters use into a simple 9-step formula. 

Now, you of course don't have to write hit songs to be successful, but it can't hurt to at least learn what it is that makes a hit song, a hit. 

6. Complete Songwriting Exercises

My highschool football days. Go Rocks!

Sometimes the thought of writing a whole song from scratch is just too much. 

Instead, consider completing songwriting "exercises" or "drills" to build those songwriting muscles and skills.

I love American football, and when teams practice, they rarely do a full-fledged scrimmage where they are simulating a real game environment. 

Players usually break up by position and practice different drills, such as blocking, tackling, and so on, which are all vital elements of succeeding in the game. 

You can think of writing a song as "game time", but you don't need 

7. Collaborate With Others

One of the fastest ways to learn and grow is by collaboration.

I probably grew more as a producer and songwriter after one week of collaboration with my friend Levi Laubenthal, also the man behind the Ethereal Cinematic music project "NIGHT", than I grew in a year on my own.

By collaborating with others, you can break out of your rut and learn completely new strategies and dies for going about constructing a sound. 

This will leave you with fresh and new tactics and skills that you can draw upon when writing your next song. 

This is especially valuable if you can collaborate in person where you can actually see the other person(s) at work.

8. Listen To Music You Hate

Hey, it might feel a little pretentious and snobbish, but there's nothing like listing to published music you find horrible to restore your confidence. 

So find that band or artist whose music you can't stand, yes, you know who I'm talking about, and give them a good listen. 

By the end, you should be thinking, "I can definitely make music better than that!"

Of course, the reality is music is very subjectively, and everyone has different tastes, but that's not important. 

What's important is that your confidence is restored, and it's absolutely true that you can make better music for a certain audience of people than others can.

So go do it!

9. Take A Break

Trying to plow through the songwriting process when you're frustrated or discouraged is just going to put you in a deeper hole.

So take a break and do some activities that will boost your mood and clear your mind.

Maybe this means going on a walk outside, or working out, or playing a video game. 

Whatever it is for you that boost your mood and clears your mind, do this for a good 15-30 minutes and them come back and see if you don't automatically have some fresh ideas. 

10. Teach Songwriting To Others

Studies show that you only retain about 5% of what you learn from a lecture.

This improves to 10% when reading something like this article, and 20% when you get both audio and visual like you would from watching a YouTube video.

(Wait, does this mean YouTube is better for teaching you stuff than college which just lectures you???? *Silently nodding* *Whispers: it's also cheaper too*)

Actually putting into practice what you learn, in other words applying what you've learned, boosts your learning retention to 75%! Wow!

But this still falls short of actually teaching others what you've learned, which enables you to retain a whopping 90% of what you learn!

This means if you want to learn a subject quickly, you need to teach on it.

I know, this sounds a little counter-intuitive to what we think we know about teaching. We think people have to be "experts" to teach on a subject, but this just isn't true.

We just have to be a couple steps ahead of the people we're teaching in order to help them. 

So if you know any people, they could just be family or friends, who want to start writing songs but haven't begun or are very new...

You would be a great person to teach them, and in return, you'll learn a lot more about songwriting yourself!

One Final Tip...

Don't emotionally attach yourself to your songwriting results. 

I don't know about you, but in my experience, and what I've read about the experience of other famous songwriters...

Songwriting is a lot like archeology. You simply uncover the priceless artifacts, you don't create them. 

Your brilliant songs are out there, you just have to uncover them. 

But because songwriting can be so indirect, we can't attach ourselves emotionally to the result of any one songwriting session.

If we did and don't find anything, that's great! We now know we need to go dig somewhere else. 

So attach yourself to the PROCESS of songwriting, not the results. 

You win with each new song you write. 

Even if you write a piece of garbage, that still moves you one step closer to the goal, so you can feel good, and be proud of your garbage. 

And when you're feeling good about your songwriting process, it becomes much easier to write a lot of songs, progress faster, and start cranking out great music. 

So get out there and write!  

If you want some simple guidelines to help you get started writing your next song, then definitely grab my free "Hit Creation Checklist"...

Which will walk you through the 9 key elements all the top songwriters tend to include in every song they write.

Write A Hit Song!

Click below to download my free Hit Creation checklist which demystifies the songwriting process and boils down the techniques hit songwriters use into a simple 9-step formula. 

I hope you got value from this post on how to overcome discouragement while songwriting. 

If so, feel free to share with any other songwriters you know, and let me know in the comments...

What, if you could achieve it in the next 90 days, would make the biggest positive difference in your life?

Reagan Ramm

Hi! I'm Reagan, and I've been writing, recording, and mixing music since 2011, and got a degree in audio engineering in 2019 from Unity Gain Recording Institute. I also work full-time in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and am striving to help fellow musicians and producers improve their art and make a living doing the work they love.

- Reagan Ramm


creativity, songwritting, workflow

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