Writers should write everyday. Not the shopping list, but a long descriptive piece about the day, a thought, or an impression. Sometimes ideas come from these small jaunts. Hemingway said to get started a writer must, “write one true sentence.”1
“I’ve been lately thinking about my life’s time.” – John Denver
John Denver was a songwriter you wrote roughly five songs when he became a success. Some of the songs came easily. Others took their time to incubate.
“When asked if he had a specific method or approach to writing songs, Denver replies that he is a very unstructured writer. “I don’t sit down every day and try to write a song. For some people, it’s like a job and that’s what they do. They go in and try to write a song,” he says. “For me it quite often begins with a phrase like ‘leaving on a jet plane’ or ‘follow me’ or ‘back home again’ or ‘sunshine on my shoulders’.
“What’ll happen there’ll be a phrase or line that I’ve come up with. When I’m driving I’ll start writing the song in my head. Then when I get to a guitar, I’ll sit and play it on the guitar until the rest of the song comes. Some songs come very quickly. I wrote “Annie’s Song” in 10 minutes one day on a ski lift – that’s how I know it was 10 minutes. Then other songs like “Rocky Mountain High” took about six or seven months to write.” 2