5 Tips to Make Time for Your Music

Posted in The Weekly on April 22, 2024 by

I was on a music business panel when an aspiring artist raised her hand. She said that as a working mom she did not have the time she believed she needed to propel her career. How could she possibly achieve her goals?

I told her that we cannot manufacture more time; it is a limited resource. There are only so many hours in the day and so many days in a lifetime. It is up to us to parse out our hours and our days in ways that support our priorities.

We all have responsibilities and demands on our time and energy. To avoid getting derailed from my goal, I need to prioritize and be clear that I am choosing the order of tasks on my to-do list, as opposed to simply attending to the next thing that pops up.

Here are some ways to carve out time for our music.

Designate Days When You Will Wake Up an Hour Early

When I was working day jobs and temp jobs, I found I could do some of my best work before going to an office where my creativity was drained. At 6 AM there were no interruptions, no distractions.

Refresh and Reset in the Evening

If you are not a morning person, try something that worked well for me when I worked a job that required me to be on the road by 6 AM. At the end of my ten-hour workday—and an hour in bumper-to-bumper on L.A.’s 405 Freeway—I felt utterly drained. It was hard to imagine there was even one creative cell left in my body.

I found that a twenty-minute catnap followed by a quick rinse in a cool shower put my workday far behind me. I felt like I was “me” again, and I was able to work on my music for an hour or two.

Go Someplace Specifically to Write

Set a time to write in a library, a café, a park, or another setting. This certainly worked for J.K. Rowlings who famously brought Harry Potter to life in Edinburgh’s cafés. The Starbucks a few blocks from Nashville’s Music Row is typically full of songwriters, some of them wearing headphones, hard at work on their latest song. Some people find that background noise forces them to focus more intently on their writing. Others find it distracting.

If you find the setting you choose is not conducive to accomplishing your work (i.e. if you are composing melodies), it can be a place where you take care of business.

Set an Appointment

Mark in your calendar a day and time to work on your music or attend to business. Honor this appointment as you would any other appointment. Many writers find that setting a time to work with a collaborator keeps them focused and ensures that they will show up

Allot One Hour

Setting aside an entire day—or even half of a day—to work on your music might not be feasible. But it’s amazing how much can be accomplished in one hour. Hit songs that were written in under an hour (some as quickly as in ten minutes) include:

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (written by Taylor Swift, Max Martin, and Shellback; recorded by Taylor Swift)

Just Dance” (written by Lady Gaga, Nadir Khayat, and Aliaune Thiam; recorded by Lady Gaga, featuring Colby O’Donis)

Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (written by Freddie Mercury; recorded Queen)

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards; recorded by The Rolling Stones)

Prioritize, make a plan, commit to it, and remain accountable.

Regardless of the outcome, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have given it your best shot.

Remember that this is your life. Despite your responsibilities and commitments, you deserve to express the music that is inside you. You are a creative person; find a creative solution to honor the gift of music that you have been given.

Jason Blume is the author of 6 Steps to Songwriting Success, This Business of Songwriting, and Inside Songwriting (Billboard Books). His latest book, Happy Tails—Life Lessons from Rescued Cats and Kittens (SPS/Blue Mountain Arts) combines his love of photography and cats. Jason’s songs are on Grammy-nominated albums and have sold more than 50,000,000 copies. A guest lecturer at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney) and at the Berklee School of Music, he has been interviewed as a songwriting expert for CNN, NPR, the BBC, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. To receive a free video, “3 Things You MUST Do for Success” and weekly tips to enhance creativity click here. Join Songwriting With Jason Blume on Facebook for free events and song critiques. For information about his workshops, recorded lessons, webinars, additional articles, and more, visit

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