How To Keep A Songwriting Journal

Posted by Mike Schuck

A songwriter’s journal is an essential tool for creating songs. It can be anything you choose- from notes in your own handwriting, through doodling or drawing pictures, down to using pre-existing templates or apps.

But before you start writing in yours, there are two things you should know.

First, don’t write everything about yourself in your journal. That’s boring! If you want to connect with other people, including fellow writers, use your diary as a way to do that.

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Second, make sure what you write in your journal isn’t easily accessible by anyone else.

That could mean not sharing your passwords, or at least changing them regularly, or even keeping it locked away so no one has access except you. But also remember to save your diaries offline somewhere only you have access to – maybe burn or shred those who deserve nothing but contempt.

What are the elements of a songwriting journal?

how to keep a songwriting journal

The first thing is to actually start writing down songs! You can do this in several ways- either as an audio or textual document, using your phone or computer, and you don’t have to only write music, you can also include lyrics.

Whatever format you choose, make sure it’s easy to add to and access resources from.

It’s very helpful to be able to search through your notes easily, which means no having to retype everything. And if you ever want to go back and read something you wrote earlier, you won’t need to dig through all the other notecards to find it!

There are many apps and software programs that help you organize and create your own personal diary entries. Some even allow you to sync them across computers so that you never have to worry about losing one day’s work.

How do I start a songwriting journal?

how to keep a songwriting journal

Creating a music notebook or journal is an incredible way to get into track writing quickly. All you need to have is a computer, internet connection, and paper to make it work!

Many people begin keeping a music diary in their twenties as they hone their craft and learn how to listen to their songs and analyze what makes them special. Some even keep diaries of songs they love and why so that they can create new compositions inspired by those tunes.

It’s not only great for getting ideas for your own material, but also for learning more about the art form. By listening to other musicians’ songs and analyzing what made them shine, you’ll definitely pick up some tips.

There are many ways to organize and structure your journal, depending on what feels most natural to you. But we will talk about one simple option here. You can easily write down notes and thoughts about songs you hear, and then connect these with the writers’ names later.

What should I include in my journal?

how to keep a songwriting journal

Sticking with your regular routine is the best way to keep a songwriting diary. Make it work for you, and don’t make changes unless you have time to devote to it consistently.

The first thing to do when starting up a new journal is decide what items you want to include. This could be anything from how many songs you wrote today to who you met while networking or talking about writing.

It can also be creating an outline or framework for your next song or getting ideas for possible lyrics or melodies. All of these things are great ways to get started and add some depth to your music making.

Another option is taking notes or recording thoughts as they come to you during your daily activities.

How often should I keep a journal?

how to keep a songwriting journal

It’s totally up to you, but most people create their journals monthly or even weekly. That’s what I like to do because it gives me a chance every month to look back at my writing and work on improving it.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t start daily! If you want to give yourself more of a headstart, then try going through your notes each morning before you hop into whatever task you have planned for the day.

And if you ever get tired of looking back over all those notes, you can just start keeping less frequent updates until you feel like reading past entries.

What benefits will my journal have?

how to keep a songwriting journal

Keeping a songwriting notebook or diary is a great way to organize your songs. You can use it for writing new songs, looking back on past songs, reflecting on things related to music, and sharing your songs with others.

By organizing your notes in an accessible place, you’ll give yourself more chance of remembering what you wrote earlier. Plus, you can refer back to previous entries at any time – which helps make your ideas stick longer.

You are not limited to only including information in this notebook that you include in your writer’s session. For example, you may want to write down a word or phrase that reminds you of a good idea you had earlier. Or maybe you’d like to add some detail about a topic you discussed before.

There is no rule saying you must put everything you want to remember into your notebook, but it is a very helpful tool if you do decide to include such materials later.

What challenges can come with a songwriting journal?

how to keep a songwriting journal

One challenge that many people face when keeping a music notebook or songwriting diary is what to include in their entries.

Some writers feel compelled to write about every aspect of their life, but this does not work for most people when they are trying to create songs.

You do not need to include every thought you have, action you took, person you spoke to, etc., if you are struggling to put words onto paper.

A rule of thumb we recommend is to only include things in your entry if there is at least one sentence worded as “I wrote” or “I finished my song.”

This way, you will know what was written down, and you can add details to make the writing more complete later.

Another good tip is to choose a time frame to start recording thoughts and events, such as starting your journal on Monday morning, then reviewing it each night before going to sleep.

How can I improve my songwriting journal?

how to keep a songwriting journal

A simple way to start recording your songs is by creating a songwriting notebook or diary. This could be using an app, writing in a pen and paper, or even just making a note section in Google Docs.

Any of these options are fine, but make sure to only include information that you need to keep track of! Don’t add people to your phone book list if you don’t want to see those faces ever again. Plus, most smartphone apps have the option to save all of your notes as well which can help preserve the integrity of your diary.

The important thing about this page is to not get too attached to it. You can always go back and reorganize everything, starting with de-cluttering and organizing what you already have.

After all, no one is stopping you from getting new notebooks or changing where you put this one out for the time being.

What should I do to become a good songwriter?

how to keep a songwriting journal

The first thing you need to do as a beginner writer is to create. Write, write, and then keep writing! That’s what authors do – they write for hours upon hours until their fingers fall off.

Now, it’s great to be able to write for hours but that’s not feasible most of the time for two main reasons: no one will give you enough time to write, and even if they did, you wouldn’t have enough time left over after work and other commitments.

So how can you get better at writing quickly? You must develop your writing skills by doing it everyday. And yes, that means keeping a songwriting journal every day!

What is a songwriting journal?

A songwriting journal is just like any other diary except it is focused solely on music. As such, it does not include any narrative or explanatory material beyond the songs themselves.

Instead, the entries in the journal are simply notes and/or lyrics of the songs along with some brief comments about the songs or the process of creating them. These may include anything from noting a line or phrase that inspired you to make an alteration to your own song, to describing the song as brilliant and why.

Most writers maintain several journals depending on which stage of song creation they are currently in. There might be early drafts, final versions, reworkings, etc.

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