On Songwriting: Update Your Brain’s Operating System

Every so often I get an iPhone update. I hate updates at first because I don’t like change. Why did they have to do another update? The look is only slightly different; there’s a few new features, but was it worth the bother?

After a few days the answer is almost always yes. The changes weren’t just changes; they were improvements. They may have been small, but they made using the device better or easier in some way.

What are you doing to continually update your own operating system as a songwriter? If you’re like me, you don’t like change, but you do desire improvement. And it’s easy to confuse the two.

Improvement is simply growth over time. It doesn’t mean you suddenly need to start writing songs in a different style or quit the guitar and move to the melodica. Improvement means you keep track of the times you think, “Huh, I really like that sound” or “the way she sang that lyric was unexpected” and then incorporate elements of that in your own work.

When you index those thoughts in your brain or notes, you update your operating system. Your songwriting improves and becomes more enjoyable to you and others.