AMA: “When you have nothing to write about, where do you look for inspiration?” -Nathanael

Hi Aaron,

When you have nothing to write about, where do you look for inspiration? Do you read true stories that have happened to other people and write about their story? Do you read books, watch movies, or cowrite with someone who actually has something to write about, etc.?


Such a good question, Nathanael.

Honestly, though, waiting or looking for inspiration is a great way for me to go broke! 🙂

So here’s what I do.

I try to avoid not having anything to write about by being proactive. I stockpile anything I hear — in a conversation, on the radio, a phrase in a book or on a billboard — anything that makes my heart do a double take or gets my mind curious.

I also stockpile melodic ideas that do the same thing. Whether I’m in the car or just messing around on the guitar. Anything I’m humming or playing that feels like there might be something there.

Then I make a habit of combing through the archives. Just yesterday I wrote a song from a line I’d written down months ago.

So, I’d encourage you to be proactive so you don’t ever feel like you have nothing to write about.

Might seem silly or too Type A, but I like to make a weekly date on my iCal/Google Cal to “Sift through song ideas.” I have a folder of all of my ideas, which then divides into sub folders. It’s organized like this:

    • I really like these
      • finish by myself
      • bring to cowrite
    • I’m unsure of these
    • Trash these

Thanks for the question! Let me know if there’s anything else.


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