Here are some of my favorite quotes from artists on songwriting that in my view are well worth a read as these folks have dedicated their lives to this pursuit

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“Songwriting’s a weird game. I never intended to become one – I fell into this by mistake, and I can’t get out of it. It fascinates me. I like to point out the rawer points of life”. Keith Richards

“Songwriting is a very mysterious process. It feels like creating something from nothing. It’s something I don’t feel like I really control”. Tracy Chapman

“I’m definitely a fan of juxtaposition. Using the most beautiful line to say the most horrific thing – I think one of the main things in songwriting is definitely friction between the words and the melody”. Rufus Wainwright

“Songwriting is kind of like a craft. It’s not something that just comes in a dream. You’ve got to work at it”. Sean Lennon

“Inspiration is a word used by people who aren’t really doing anything. I go into my office every day that I’m in Brighton and work. Whether I feel like it or not is irrelevant.’” Nick Cave

“You write down a paragraph or two describing several different subjects creating a kind of story ingredients-list, I suppose, and then cut the sentences into four or five-word sections; mix ’em up and reconnect them. You can get some pretty interesting idea combinations like this. You can use them as is or, if you have a craven need to not lose control, bounce off these ideas and write whole new sections.” David Bowie

“What comes first? The melody, always. It’s all about singing the melodies live in my head. They go in circles. I guess I’m quite conservative and romantic about the power of melodies. I try not to record them on my Dictaphone when I first hear them. If I forget all about it and it pops up later on, then I know it’s good enough. I let my subconscious do the editing for me.” Björk

Observations on songwriting from successful musical artists

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