keep the process weird

Published June 02, 2021

If you’ve read a handful of our blog posts or attended a few gls classes, you’ve probably already heard me talk on the topic of “keeping the process weird.” But if you haven’t, I want to share one of my favorite quotes on the subject from one of my personal heroes:

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."

When we find ourselves stuck in the creative process, it’s most likely because of something we’re not willing to face. We may be afraid of ruining a decent start to a piece, we might be frozen with indecision, we might come up against a limitation in ourselves that wants for expansion.

A lot can be said about the Shadow (no, not the 1930’s radio show, how old do you think I am?) in the Jungian sense, but we can safely begin with the simple fact that by its very definition, we cannot accurately see our own shadow without some assistance.


And so, one quick tip for today that can help you break through a stuck spot in your creative process and shine a light on some shadow resistance is to try introducing some element of chance.


There are literally unlimited ways to do this, but to give an example, take one word in a lyric that you wish to replace and go to and use the first word that comes up. Find a creative way to adjust the melody, scansion or meaning to make it fit if it doesn’t immediately. The weirder the better.

Now do the exercise 2 more times and pick your favorite version. Weirder: pick your least favorite version.

Try what I call the ” Ghostbusters exercise:” Clear your mind, sit in stillness observing your breath and try to keep your mind blank. As soon as the first thought arises, you must use it in the next line of your song. It, now, is the nemesis you must face at the end of your own Ghostbusters movie.

And while we’re sharing tips and honoring your most authentic, creative self, I want to share another quick tip from the amazing Rachel Spencer Hewitt, a guest instructor at gls:

“The most effective way to cut through the noise is to show yourself authentically without apology. The authenticity helps others know who we are, asks us to know ourselves, and without apology leads others to trust the vulnerability of us in that moment. Leaning into who we are with joy is one of the healthiest ways to attract others – because they’re drawn to someone true – drawn to the real you.”

I dig you. Thanks for being the most authentic you that ever could be.

— Gary



Get 64 Songwriting Tips & Tricks for free

We created these tips just for you! 

Why? Because we know that you have a song just waiting to emerge and we want to help you share it with the world! Free for a limited time.

Picture of Gary Grundei, founder | composer

Gary Grundei, founder | composer

There’s a magic that can happen when you put creativity, growth, authenticity, generosity, and community all together in one virtual environment. golden lotus studio was established as an online community in 2018 to fill a need for composers and songwriters of all walks of life and experience and training and styles to be able to support each other in their creativity and growth.

Connect with us:

Friday Afternoon Songwriting Club (FASC)

A dynamic community designed to help you write better songs today.
64 tips main

64 songwriting tips AND TRICKS

We created these tips just for you! Why? Because we know that you have a song just waiting to emerge and we want to help you share it with the world! Free for a limited time.