At It Again or Day 2

Day 2 and it’s time for you to write a fresh new song!

The linky-box is below so once you’ve recorded your song, come back here and post a link for us so we can check it out and give it some love!

Also, let me know if you have any questions by either leaving a comment on the post or by emailing me HERE.

Have a great day of writing!

What’s your strategy? (otherwise known as Day 1 of 5in5)

Hello friends!

Welcome back to the 2017 version of 5in5, our annual songwriting challenge where we write a song a day for 5 days in a row. This is the 6th year that we have done this and I feel tired just thinking about the possibility of late night songwriting this week; however, I’m determined to keep things simple and to write as honestly (and as quickly) as I can this time around.

I realize you didn’t come here to read about me, but I thought I might tell you my strategy this year in case it helps inspire you or helps you come up with your own personal strategy for songwriting.

This year I want to use way less production and write as honestly and as simply as I can. Probably like a lot of you, I can already tell there will be a couple nights this week where I only have 2-3 hours to knock something out. So my personal goals are to keep things super simple, to try writing in a new genre, and to continue writing past this 5in5 week. I’m hopeful this week will be a way to kickstart my songwriting in 2017.

You don’t have to answer these question in order to write, especially if this feels overly complicated, but before you begin writing for 5in5 it might be worth asking yourself a couple strategic questions or setting a few personal goals for the week:

1) Why are you joining the 5in5 songwriting challenge this year and what are you hoping to get out of it?

2) Do you have any specific types of songs/styles you are hoping to write?

3) Are there any strategies you’ll be employing this year to jump start your creativity? (ex: writing a song in an unfamiliar key, using a different instrument, collaborating, writing alone, rhyming, never rhyming, etc.)

Regardless of your goal or strategies, thanks for joining us this year! If this is your first year (or you just need a refresher) here are the rules for 5in5 – – so go check those out!

I’ll post the little link sharing box at the bottom of this post around 12 pm CST time today, so once you have your song written and posted somewhere, you’ll then be able to provide a link for everyone to come check it out.

Let me know if you need anything else or if you have any questions by commenting below and happy writing!

– Dan

5in5 | day 5 |2016

Today is usually the day of this challenge that I stop caring about writing another song, cause 4 songs is just fine and I’m tired… but just imagine how amazing it will be to look back on this week and have 5 brand new songs that you have written!

This is not a new thought but I want to quickly challenge you on the power of the practice of writing. Think about your favorite songs, musicals, books, plays, movies, poems, etc. They make you laugh, they transport you, they challenge your thinking, and sometimes they have been known to change the tides of history. Imagine writing the documents which hold the very words our country was founded upon. There’s some serious pressure attached to penning the script a nation will be governed by for centuries.

That thought alone might make you want to quit writing, because how could we ever hope to be as good as the heroes that wrote our favorites, but hold on for one last thought…

The goal of 5in5 week was not for you to write the next Declaration of Independence in song form, though that would be an amazing feat; but for you to start to write regularly and then to rewrite even more regularly.

Today, don’t put pressure on yourself to produce something great. Go for simple – an easy melody, a light little chorus or even an instrumental piece that you’ll develop next week. Next week?! We’ll get there… stay tuned because day 5 of 5in5 is the start, not the end.

Happy writing and thanks for being a part of the challenge this week!!

5in5 | day 4 |2016

Every year that we do this challenge I always wonder if the next day I’ll be able to recreate the “magic” of the previous day. In fact, sometimes I dwell too long on the song of yesterday because I’m happy with how it turned out, or maybe just afraid I won’t be able to make something decent again today.

Go ahead and listen to your other songs one more time if needed, then press play on your writing for today. Don’t rewrite too much, record it and then let us hear your next creation… we can’t wait!!

Also thanks to everyone for joining in, regardless of when you took the plunge during this fun week of writing.

5in5 | day 1 | 2016

And so it begins again… this year’s 5in5 challenge is ON!

Get your writing spot set up, pull out your instruments, dust off your notebooks and let’s get started!!

Once you have completed your song for the day you can use the form below to add your name, or the song name, or your name and the song name – it’s your choice. Then in the form you will simply add your link to where you have posted your song so that we can all check out what you’ve written.

If you have any questions, let me know by either leaving a comment on this post or by emailing me HERE.

5in5 and bacon time!!

Welcome back to this year’s 5in5 endurance  songwriting challenge!

Let’s be honest, there’s a reason we only do this once a year. This is the challenge built for those of you who do not sleep and basically enjoy baring your soul to the internet. You know who I’m talking about – those of you that never sit still because you are constantly working on your latest creative masterpiece. You’re the same ones who probably don’t own a TV and are too busy to stop and smell the roses. Or in this day and age that might equate to not having the time to stop and eat the bacon. Truly the life of a tortured artist.

Then there is the other group. You’re waking up fully rested from your 8-10 hours of sleep each night, and sure, you may not have written a single song all year, but at least you still know how to enjoy the sweet cracklin’ goodness of bacon (sorry, I was hungry as I was writing this).

But there might be a happy middle ground. One where you schedule time to develop your art, but where you also stop to take in what has been created. 5in5 is for both groups of people and it’s all about starting your writing while also taking a few moments to enjoy what you are producing.

Here’s a quick rundown for anyone interested in this year’s 5in5:

  • write 5 new songs in 5 days
    the goal is simply to start and finish a whole song to stretch both your creativity and your discipline as a writer. also, it’s basically the title of this challenge.
  • each song should be new
    a new song each day is what you’re going to write. no songs you’ve previously started cause you’re starting fresh – you’ve got this!
  • co-writing is encouraged
    this one has helped me write better songs the past few years of 5in5 and is highly encouraged for you to try at least once during the week. plus, with 2 (or more) of you working on the song you can take it to the next level. You know that level – where someone is writing and the other person is cooking up… BACON PANCAKES!
  • post the song in some public forum
    most songwriters post their songs on a blog, youtube, facebook, soundcloud, etc. part of the beauty of 5in5 is forcing yourself to be vulnerable with your writing by putting it out there and when you post it brings a real sense of community.
  • post the link to your song at each day
    we want to hear what you’ve written and each day there will be a daily post where you can add your song link to let others find you more easily. after you post, don’t forget to go listen to what others are writing & give them encouragement.

I’m sure many of you will want to share this challenge with other songwriters and you are very welcome to do so, but even before you share this, there is one last personal step for you to take. We find that you’re more likely to complete this challenge if you tell someone. So take a quick second, and let others around you know that you’re going to participate in 5in5 with this simple phrase:


We know this challenge is tough but it could be the jumpstart your artistry needs this year. This might be the beginning of finding a great workflow for your art (your song, play, photography, poetry, etc.) while still finding time to savor the bacon! You owe it to yourself to jump in – you can sleep the other 51 weeks of the year.

5in5 begins on Monday, June 6th at 9am CST!


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