Do one simple act of songwriting every day for 100 days in a row.
It doesn't matter how big or small; lyrics (sung or spoken), instrumental, and beats are all fair game. Some people upload audio snippets of their work, other people type up lyrics, take a photo, or post a link from Youtube or Soundcloud.
How to Get Started
Step 1. Create your own rule: It must be something you can realistically commit to for 100 Days in a row.
The first time I did a 100 day challenge (Spring of 2017) my rule was to either record four bars of instrumental composition, or one lyric line. I liked that at first, but then I found myself spending four hours on four bars of music doing multiple takes and tweaking reverb and compressors—can't sustain that—I have a wife and a three year old. So I changed it to a time limit of 20 minutes a day. Some days I have an hour or two to spend, but normally I get my 20 minutes in, post what I've got, and go to sleep knowing I did my work.
Start out as realistic as you can and make adjustments if what you're doing is not sustainable. A creative habit should be able to fit into anyone's life no matter how busy it is.
Step 2. Share your rule with a group. Join our community ($5.00/mo.), or start your own.
Step 3. Post your daily work: An audio snippet (mp3, m4a), Youtube link, a photo, or text. If you didn't produce anything tangible, that's okay. If it's ugly and messy that's okay. The less polished the more it gives others permission to do the same. Remember it's about creating a habit, not impressing other musicians.
What I have learned about myself, since the first one I did in 2017, is that when I keep a close distance between my creation and my post, I tend to stay balanced over my own two feet. When I let the distance between my creation and my post grow I tend to wobble—trying to impress other people.
There are shades of grey here because some people might be doing their work, but simply don't have time to post every day. That's okay! Just try and post recent work—whatever is reasonable to your situation.
Step 4. Encourage others. Positive feedback is welcome, but no critiquing during the 100 day challenge.
It is important to separate the creator from the editor. Both are vital parts of songwriting, but they don't mix well. We invite members to participate in closed structured feedback sessions where we share our songs and receive feedback in a safe and productive environment.
Please read all the guidelines before posting to the group.
That's it! It sounds simple, but at some point it's going to feel like 100 days—I guarantee it!
Happy songwriting, I'll be doing my own 100 days right a long side you!
–Rigel Windsong Thurston, Guide
Song is where it all starts
As a DIY musician who has to wear all the hats of the new music industry, it's easy to forget sometimes that the actual song is where it all starts. 100 Days Of Songwriting was a refreshing way to make sure I carved out a little time each day to song write! There was no pressure to get anything finished or perfect, but I could sleep easy knowing I had moved a little closer to writing a great song!
Rubbing minds together
Being a part of the 100 Days of Songwriting back in 2018 gave me that push and stimulation I very much needed to improve on the frequency and quality of my songwriting. Rubbing minds together with, and receiving invaluable advice from experienced professionals and amateurs like myself, has helped me hone my writing skills. I'm very glad to be a part of a group that feels very much like home. Thanks Rigel for that wonderful initiative!
A community of like-minded souls
Let's face it - we songwriters are an odd breed. We're out here, doing our strange little thing - hashing out melodies, jotting down snippets of conversation, tapping out rhythms on random restaurant tables.....It's nice to spend time (even virtual time) among people who understand our weirdness and know how to weird right along with us. That's one of the benefits I found in Rigel's 100 Days of Songwriting: Feeling less alone and being part of a community of like-minded souls on this songwriting journey.
Opened up a whole new aspect of my career
Participating in the 100 Days of Songwriting started out of curiosity for me, but has grown into an incredible tool for accessing creativity. Through composition and arranging I have opened up a whole new aspect of my career, and I believe coming at it through 100 Days has helped keep me feeling adventurous and lighthearted about my creations. I love the format and the non-judgmental, quasi-accountability nature of the group.