IRB # 227911-18; IRB exemption granted by PSU Human Research Protection Program (HRPP)
Date of Award
Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Music: Education and University Honors
Music & Theater
songwriting, inner critic, creativity, constraints, time, collaboration
The inner critic is a common foe within creative disciplines, and with it comes a host of internal obstacles such as anxiety, self-doubt, imposter syndrome, writer’s block, and more, that cause stress and conspire to keep artists from realizing their full creative potential. In this paper, I utilize research methods as well as self-reflection to consider how songwriters can implement the external constraints of time and collaboration to get around internal obstacles and introduce more freedom into the creative process. I examine the strategies of quantity over quality, maintaining an improv mindset, and amending expectations to explain how the inner critic can be put to more effective use. I recount the details of a songwriting workshop I hosted in April 2023 to implement these ideas and strategies, and look at participant feedback, and consider how these principles might apply outside the realm of the arts. I hope to continue building on these ideas in order to provide more opportunities for songwriters to redefine their relationship with creativity, where self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and anxiety play a much smaller and more manageable role.
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Baer, Carley, "Stop Not Writing Songs: Using Time and Collaboration to Overcome Self-Doubt, Imposter Syndrome, and Writer's Block" (2023). University Honors Theses. Paper 1343.