Writers Write

My name is Jonathan Byrd. I'm a southern preacher's son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter. I believe that waiting for inspiration is an amateur technique and a recipe for writer's block. I believe in the discipline of writing, and in the motivational effect of accountability.

Being disciplined and accountable has forced me to discover and invent tools to keep the writing process moving forward. Using these tools, I've written and released a dozen studio albums, a half a dozen live albums, and a book of poetry. I have three more albums and two books in the works. I'm still learning. Every time I teach, I learn more. One thing I'm sure of:

The only way to write is to write. That's what we do in the Online Songwriting Retreat.

We’ll meet online on the first evening and share examples of writing that moves us. We’ll write together, right away. We’ll explore each other’s processes. You’ll get an assignment. I’ll give a mini-concert.

We’ll meet again the next morning and discuss real writing tools to find the words and music you’re looking for. Imagery and characterization. Melody. Setting. That afternoon, I’ll spend one-on-one time with each student. In the second evening, we’ll share what we've written, learn to give and accept critique, and develop a plan to move forward and finish.

Next day at brunch, we come together and share how we used the feedback to improve our assignments. We discuss what we’ve learned. We leave inspired and renewed with new creative tools.


“you offered the responsibility of active leadership to each of us in turn.”

“...you created a safe place for us to work with the expectation of accomplishing something we could share.”
— student
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