With regards to the songwriting process, it’s my belief that a “song will take as long as it needs to take to become a finished song.” I believe that this statement captures the very essence of the creative process, emphasising that the journey of songwriting is not bound by a strict timeline.

Each song, like a unique fingerprint, has its own path to completion, dictated by inspiration, development, and refinement.

No matter your songwriting experience, understanding the importance of patience in your songwriting process is crucial.

The act of creating music is deeply personal and often unpredictable, with some songs coming together in a matter of minutes, while others may take months or even years to perfect. The beauty lies in embracing this unpredictability and allowing each song to develop at its own pace.

I want to explore the diverse timelines of songwriting, delving into examples of songs that were completed swiftly and those that took much longer. I’ll also be discussing the individual nature of creativity and offer insights into why patience and persistence are key to producing authentic and impactful music.

It is my hope that you will have a deeper appreciation for the unique journey each song takes and the importance of trusting the creative process.

I. The Nature of Creativity in Songwriting

Songwriting is a creative endeavour that defies rigid structure and predictable outcomes. The nature of creativity itself is fluid and often elusive, making each songwriting journey a unique experience. Creativity, especially in songwriting, is influenced by various factors including inspiration, emotional states, and personal experiences.

A. Definition of Creativity: Creativity in songwriting can be defined as the ability to generate original ideas, melodies, and lyrics that resonate with listeners. It’s about finding new ways to express emotions, tell stories, and connect with an audience through music.

B. Unpredictability of Inspiration: Inspiration can strike at any moment and from any source. It might come from a personal experience, a conversation, a piece of art, or even a random thought. This unpredictability means that songwriters must remain open and receptive to ideas whenever they arise.

C. Organic Development: Forcing creativity can often lead to frustration and subpar work. Instead, allowing ideas to flow naturally and develop organically is crucial. This might mean setting a song aside and revisiting it later with fresh perspectives or allowing oneself the freedom to experiment and explore different directions.

Understanding the fluid nature of creativity helps songwriters appreciate the process and recognise that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to writing songs. Each song’s journey is different, and embracing this variability is key to unlocking one’s full creative potential.

II. Examples of Quickly Written Songs

While many songs require extensive time and effort to perfect, there are remarkable instances where creativity strikes like lightning, resulting in a completed song within a very short period. These examples highlight the magical moments when inspiration aligns perfectly with execution.

A. “Yesterday” by The Beatles:

Paul McCartney famously dreamt the melody for “Yesterday” and quickly transcribed it upon waking. The lyrics and structure followed soon after, making this one of the fastest-written songs in The Beatles’ catalog. This song became an iconic classic, demonstrating how a burst of inspiration can lead to timeless music.

B. “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin:

Bernie Taupin wrote the poignant lyrics for “Candle in the Wind” in just a few hours, and Elton John composed the music shortly thereafter. This swift creation process resulted in a song that has touched the hearts of millions, showing that sometimes, the most moving pieces come together effortlessly.

C. “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones:

Keith Richards wrote the iconic riff for “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in his sleep and recorded it immediately after waking up. Mick Jagger quickly penned the lyrics, and the song was completed within a day. It went on to become one of The Rolling Stones’ biggest hits, illustrating the power of spontaneous creativity.

III. Examples of Songs That Took a Long Time to Complete

While quick bursts of inspiration can yield fantastic results, some songs require a more extended, deliberate process to reach their full potential. These examples show how patience, persistence, and meticulous attention to detail can result in masterpieces.

A. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen:

Freddie Mercury spent years developing “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with the recording process itself taking several weeks. The song’s complex structure and operatic elements required extensive planning and experimentation. The result is a legendary track that showcases the value of taking time to perfect a vision.

B. “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys:

Brian Wilson spent months crafting “Good Vibrations,” experimenting with various sounds and recording techniques. The song’s innovative production and intricate arrangement made it a landmark in pop music, demonstrating how a lengthy creative process can lead to groundbreaking results.

C. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel:

Paul Simon took several months to write “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” refining the lyrics and composition. The recording process also involved extensive work to perfect the sound. The song’s enduring impact underscores the importance of patience and meticulous craftsmanship.

IV. The Personal Nature of Songwriting

Having explored examples of both quickly written and extensively developed songs, it’s clear that the songwriting process is deeply personal and varied. Each songwriter’s journey is unique, influenced by their individual experiences, emotions, and creative methods.

A. Influence of Life Experiences: Personal experiences and emotional states significantly impact the songwriting timeline. A song may flow effortlessly during times of intense emotion, or it may require more time to process and articulate complex feelings.

B. Individual Creative Processes: Each songwriter has their own approach and method. Some may thrive on spontaneous bursts of creativity, while others may need structured time and space to develop their ideas. Recognizing and honoring one’s creative process is essential for authentic expression.

C. Growth and Evolution: As songwriters grow and evolve, so does their work. A song that felt incomplete at one point might resonate more deeply later on, as the songwriter gains new insights and skills. This personal growth can breathe new life into old ideas, leading to the completion of songs that might have been set aside for a while.

V. Embracing the Journey

Understanding that every song has its own unique timeline helps songwriters embrace the journey with patience and persistence. Trusting the creative process and allowing songs to develop naturally can lead to more authentic and impactful music.

A. Patience and Persistence: Patience is a vital virtue in songwriting. Allowing ideas to mature and not rushing the process ensures that the final product is well-developed and resonant. Persistence, on the other hand, helps songwriters push through creative blocks and continue refining their work until it feels complete.

B. Trusting the Process: It’s crucial for songwriters to trust their artistic instincts and give themselves permission to take the time needed to develop their songs. This trust fosters a more fulfilling creative experience and results in music that truly reflects the songwriter’s vision.

C. The Value of Time: Taking the time to perfect a song can lead to more authentic and impactful music. Whether a song comes together in minutes or takes years to complete, the time invested in its creation is invaluable.

Every song’s journey to completion is unique, reflecting the diverse nature of creativity and the personal experiences of the songwriter. Whether a song is written in a matter of minutes or developed over several years, the key is to embrace the process with patience and trust.

By understanding the unique timelines of songwriting, musicians can create more authentic and impactful music.

The importance of being patient in your songwriting process cannot be overstated. It’s about allowing each song to take its natural course, trusting your creative instincts, and enjoying the journey.

So next time you find yourself frustrated with the pace of your songwriting, remember that a song will take as long as it needs to take to become a finished song – and that’s perfectly okay.

Now go and finish that song… No matter how long it will take.


Corey 🙂

Well, as of yesterday (Sunday, July 7th 2024) the ceiling of the studio is now totally covered with acoustic foam and what a difference it has made to the overall sound of both the main recording space and the control room.

Over the past three weeks my nephew Cooper, his mate Jake and myself have been working on covering all of the ceiling with more soundproofing material mainly to stop outside noise from getting inside the studio especially from the Corella’s which are fast becoming SongMachine’s public enemy #1 (see featured image).

This coming Wednesday Sandy and Darryl (the sparky) are coming down to hopefully finish off the wiring up of the essential hardware in the control room. Once that’s done all that will be left to do would be…

  • Making the double doors for the control room
  • Installing the glass for control room window
  • Total clean up of both sections of the studio
  • Laying down of carpet tiles throughout
  • Putting up theatre drape/curtain around recording room

We’re almost there now but I do breathe a huge sigh of relief that the acoustic foam is now on the ceiling rather than taking up room out on the back patio

Not long now…


Corey 🙂