Ponder Series 006- Identifying Creative Triggers

Enjoy listening to this artist's process below:

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Show Notes Cheat Sheet on Creative Triggers From Audio Episode Above:

What is a creative trigger? It is an event or circumstance that is the cause of a particular action, process, or situation (in this case songwriting).

Sitting around and waiting for inspiration has its pros and its cons but when relying on your creative ability to support your livelihood, the cons quickly outweigh the pros on this approach. As professional or aspiring professional artists, we need to look deep within our own creative processes to pinpoint what works for us so we can sustain our career as songwriters. Here are some tips and tricks to help identifying the forces that trigger our creativity and inspiration:

1. A Way of Thinking

To be able to start looking for creative triggers in our lives we need to first give ourselves permission to do so. This means forming the right mindset. Here are the three elements i’ve thought of that boost your creative awareness:

  • Form the desire for self-improvement. 
    • This is all about having an open mind.
    • Remember, whenever trying something new, there will be periods of discomfort or feelings of awkwardness. Don’t let these excuses stop you from reaching new heights in your life.
  • Choose to be reflective.
    • This means looking for cause and effects throughout your days. Ask yourself questions like, what made me feel this way today?
    • Try to pinpoint what has caused emotions, feelings, and urges throughout your day to start seeing what outside or inside forces are influencing your moods.
  • Be observant (expand your scope). 
    • This is similar to being reflective except it is taking your reflective thought one step further.
    • Once you start to identify your cause and effects (in the reflective stage), see if these create trends throughout multiple days or weeks.
    • This will allow you to start noticing patterns in how you construct your days and how those choices lead you to feel a certain way.

After exercising this mindset stage, you will now be equipped to turn these thoughts into action.

2. A Way of Acting

I am a strong believer that experience makes you smarter so go out there and spend some time with yourself. Learn about how you respond in certain situations. As you are experiencing life, try to see if your activities are contributing to your creativity in any way. Take control of the time you have free and spot those creative triggers!

  • Making decisions with a purpose in mind. 
    • It is too easy to say “yes” to many tasks and activities that others ask you to do during your precious time. It is much harder to start saying “no”.
    • As you go about your day, every decision you make can have an effect on your mood later in the day. Depending on when you like to write music, you might be too exhausted by the time you get around to it.
  • Develop a sense of control over your day. 
    • My theory is this exhausted feeling can be attributed to a lack of empowerment or a feeling of a lack of control over your day.
    • Whenever you get something done on your terms, you feel empowered so you are more likely to take on a new task because you feel charged by your accomplishment.
    • That new task might just be your decision to sit down and write or finish a song.
  • Creating efficiency. 
    • Now that you have control over your day and it fills you with energy to do more, this might just mean that you decide to write songs more often.
    • Because of the empowered state you are in when sitting to write a song, your song’s quality can only get better due to an increase of confidence.

3. Benefits of Triggers

Through identifying creative triggers in your life, you will…

  • Learn more about yourself.
  • Discover your creative process.
  • Recognize the outside and inside forces that influence you.

Can any of you readers think of any other benefits? Contact me.

Want to see the creative process behind these episodes? Follow Nick Johnson on Snapchat or Instagram.


Snapchat: taptomusic

Instagram: taptomusic_podcast

TAP To Music is here for YOU and thrives because of YOU!

Creating quality music is no easy task. Thats why I release these episodes every week, to make sure you don’t give up on creating music. But thats not the only way I want to help. I am just a phone call, tweet, Facebook message, email, or Skype call away from your next creative endeavor.

Here is how we can make this show great:

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About the author, Nick

I love to enjoy the process behind almost everything. There is so much to learn from in areas where we normally skim over in our fast pace lives. I am a musician, producer, mixer, and songwriter myself that loves to practice the art of hand balancing and push myself with ninja training on my off time. I too struggle with episodes of writers block and other types of creative barriers. I do not consider myself an expert but more of an infinite student that is even willing to learn from the most in-experienced novice. Everyone has something to offer, only some people are willing to listen. Let your voice be heard.

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