I've had a few readers ask me this question: "How can I stay creative when I'm so freaking busy?"
I know a lot of you are parents, students, busy with work, and it can be hard to find the time to practice!
Here are a few tips and things to remember for all you busy bees out there.
Aim for small amounts of time.
It can be overwhelming to make time for writing or practicing your instrument if you have this idea that each practice session needs to be at least an hour long.
(I'm definitely guilty of thinking, "why even bother taking out my instrument right now?" when I only have a short amount of time!)
But you can get a lot more done than you'd think in even just 10 minutes. Run through a song, work out that tricky spot you've been needing to practice, play through some scales, or learn a new song!
Of course you're not probably going to become the next Beethoven if the longest you ever practice is 10 minutes at a time, but those super-quick jam sessions are what will keep you excited and inspired about music even on days when you don't have time for a full-out practice session.
Remember songwriting doesn't HAVE to happen in your studio or practice space.
I often come up with my best ideas when I'm on-the-go! Keep a voice memo on your phone for melodies and a notepad for lyric ideas. And make sure you always record your ideas whenever you have them!
You can even practice certain aspects of your instrument on the go - play through that song you've been trying to memorize in your head or practice some tricky fingerwork on a table!
When you DO have the time to be creative, make sure you have a goal.
If you don't have the time to dedicate to daily practice, it's really important to be intentional about your practice time.
Before each practice session, write out your goals. And really focus on the spots that need the most work first.
For most musicians, this will mean not playing through the entire song over and over again (I know, it's so tempting!). Instead, practice the parts of the song that need the most work and only practice the song in its entirety once or twice.
Remember you're still an artist.
I LOVE this interview with Cheryl Strayed where she talks about people who take breaks from creating or who don't have time to write every day - and how you're still a writer.
You wrote a few songs a year ago but haven't written since? Guess what? You're still a songwriter.
Don't be too hard on yourself just because you aren't sticking to a strict daily ritual - it's honestly not possible for everyone!
And that shouldn't take away from the work you are creating.
At the end of the day, if your music connects with people, that's all that matters, right?
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