We look at the world through our own eyes (our own camera lens) and perceptions based on our experiences in life and the best thing that we can do for our songwriting is to slow down and take a real good look around.
Observation is the art of noticing what is happening around you and mindfulness is the art of noticing that you are noticing what is happening around you.
Ideas are everywhere around you. By sharpening up your powers of observation you will eventually see that this is the case.
Other essential tools for taking these aural snapshots is either a small note pad and pen(cil) or a handheld tape recorder to make sure the ideas you come up with don’t get lost in your head.
The mindfulness part of the exercise is the ability to be present in whatever you’re doing. To always remember to take the pad and pen with you.
Even at work there are ways in which you can be mindful. Take five minutes out of what you are doing and just observe your surroundings. If you are working behind a desk you might do this while you are taking your hourly stretch breaks.
You might hear someone say something that makes you think ‘gee, that’s a great line for a chorus’ or while on your lunch break you see a headline in the paper that sparks something in you.
In the meantime, remember that ideas are everywhere if you take the time out to see and hear them.
While stopping to smell the roses, write a song about the roses while you’re at it.
Always remember, songwriting is life.