Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Scheduled Inspiration

“How is it possible mark your calendar to be inspired?” I often get asked this question when I tell people what I do four, and sometimes five, days a week.

There's nothing more draining than showing up somewhere like a co-write and feeling like you've somehow failed because you don't feel inspired or creative. I've been there. And I learned something very important as a result.

At first I thought the key was coming up with some profound musical or lyrical idea to bring to every co-write. But I quickly ended up with more co-writes than "profound" ideas.

Thankfully, one of the days that I was short on ideas was a day where my co-writer and I ended up writing one of my favorite songs to this day, "Bare Feet" (track #2 on my EP, The Way I See Her). What I came to realize was that, instead of my initial song idea delegating the direction, in this situation the song grew organically as a truer collaboration.

I've actually erred on the opposite side of the spectrum, showing up to co-writes more often than not without any song title or lyric idea. But I've also realized there's a certain level of creative accountability that comes with taking ideas to co-writes. If I know I want to take an idea, then I'll keep my antennae up for things that inspire. And as John Wooden said, “Failing to prepare meant preparing to fail.”

So to answer the original question about marking my calendar for inspiration, I do it by showing up ready to be inspired rather than showing up pre-inspired. And that mindset keeps the anxiety levels way down.

Keep writing (and preparing),



  1. Ben - a great post, really helps take the pressure off. Love your "About" page by the way. Really nice site. I'm subscribing. Peace, rob

  2. Thanks, Rob! I appreciate your support.