Anyone who creates has at least one bad habit they would like to kick. At the SESAC Nashville Music Awards, artists and hit-makers were quick to name theirs when Sounds Like Nashville asked, “What songwriting habits do you want to quit in 2020?”
Jimmie Allen: I’m late, and I like to leave a lot. I’m on my schedule. I like to leave a lot like go to the bathroom and get coffee. But for me, it helps my brain and gives me a chance to think. I wouldn’t consider them bad habits, really.
Blanco Brown: I don’t really have bad songwriting habits. I have bad production habits where I leave the track and don’t come back to it until years later. But at times, that’s what works because you can’t force creativity.
Cary Barlowe: I need to focus more on more titles because you get a list of them going, and then you write them if that happens that particular day. Then when you look back at the list, and you’re like, “Crap, I’m out of ideas,” then you’re relying on the spur of the moment or your cowriters to spit out some magic. It’s easier said than done.
Dillon Carmichael: I’ve got a lot of habits. I say, “You know,” a lot. I’ve been trying to kick that one. But in my songwriting, I think [I need to cut back on] writing slow songs. I want to write some tempo this year.
Erin Enderlin: That’s probably my worst bad habit is not writing enough by myself. I haven’t done a lot of that.
Josh Hoge: I’d like to write less drunk songs. [But] you’ve got to play the game. I want to tell stories. I love writing love songs and things like that; real-life stuff.
Ray Wylie Hubbard: I don’t really know any bad songwriting habits at all. I should probably study what good [habits] are. I just get a groove going, throw some wicked nursery rhymes on it, and then I’m done. I should probably try to care more about them, I suppose. I’ve never been asked a question like that. I’m so happy when a song is finished. I just write them and see what happens.
King Calaway’s Simon Dumas: Running away for a cup of coffee when I’m stuck on the second verse. That’s a classic.
Runaway June: I guess one we would like to improve on is not having to cancel so much. We’re on the road so much, it’s not really our fault. We’re having to reschedule so many writes because we’re touring so much. That’s one we’d like to kick.
Victoria Shaw: Being too nice or writing with people when I really don’t have time to write – overbooking myself. I’ve been around a long time, so I think I’ve gotten rid of most of my bad habits.
Temecula Road’s Dawson Anderson: Not being prepared enough with food. I’ll always get hungry if I don’t eat lunch or bring a snack.
Jenny Tolman: Looking at my phone. It’s too distracting.