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I’ve written often about the benefits of speedwriting on this blog. In my research while preparing to write “Beating Songwriter’s Block: Jump-Start Your Words and Music,” I came across many musicians, visual artists, authors and others who extol the virtues of forcing your mind to work quickly.
Speedwriting means that you have little if any time to go back over what you’ve written. So the immediate benefit of speedwriting appears to be that your inner critic doesn’t have an opportunity to second-guess what you’ve written.
The longer-term benefit, even if the evidence is more anecdotal than scientific, is that you succeed in training your brain to be more immediately creative. And along with that are several other side-benefits, including an increase in confidence, and a more generally positive approach to the creative arts.
When you think of speedwriting you think of writing an entire song in a ridiculously short period of time. But it’s also a good idea to take the notion of speedwriting and apply it to separate, specific components of songwriting; the writing of lyrics, for example.
The following is from an exercise in Chapter 3 of the book. It’s something you can do over and over, with different results each time. In that regard, it can serve as part of a daily songwriting warm-up. You’re given the first phrase of a line of lyric, and your job is to finish the sentence.
But I would encourage you to do something more: finish the sentence, but then complete the entire stanza that follows. Once you’ve finished, go back and finish the given line with something completely different, and then write a new stanza.
As always, give yourself an unreasonably short period of time for the completed stanza — 1 minute per attempt should be right. ;)
Please feel free to post your efforts in the comments if you’d like.
- Children everywhere ______________
- In silence she ______________
- There is a field ______________
- Why ______________
- Who should ______________
- When love is ______________
- As I ______________
- Take the only ______________
- You know that ______________
- Was it only ______________
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