And then I did it the next day and the next. I didn't stop. For over a year, without fail, I wrote down 10 song ideas everyday.
That's 3650 ideas for songs. Some were song titles, some were situations, some were stories I wanted to write songs about. Many were snatches of conversations I'd overheard in the hospital or character sketches of people who walked by me in the endless florescent hallways. Dozens of ideas were about death: how I imagined she was feeling about her own death, what I imagined (and knew) she was sad about, worried about, fearful of.
Most, if not all, of the 30 new songs I am working on right now come from those 3650 ideas. Once my Mom started feeling better and I had more time to myself to write songs and play guitar, I started mining the goldfields of those notebooks. I dug and pickaxed and prospected them for all they were worth. Here is what I found: a lot of dirt and rocks. I also found some real gems, one or two shiny ideas.
If you want to start exercising your idea muscle, James lays out the process nicely right here.
How do you come up with ideas? Do you have a habit around it? Do you set time apart to do it? How do you keep track of your ideas? Let me know in the comments below.