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Creative Lessons From Nashville


Nashville is a TV show about the lives of a group of talented singers and song writers, all trying to make it in the competitive world of music. Every episode is filled with drama. Whether it’s the rivalry between Rayna James and Juliette Barnes or the love triangle of Gunner, Scarlett and Avery, one thing is always for sure, there is never a dull moment in Nashville! But what can it teach us about the creative process and how to channel our own drama? Plenty!

Competition gives us drive 
Nothing annoys Juliette Barnes more than seeing her childhood idol Rayna, outsell her in the charts. She’s half Rayna’s age, looks amazing and her tunes are pop perfect; so why can’t she outsell her in the charts? Whether you’re a performer, writer or artist, there is always going to be someone challenging your position. And that’s a good thing! Competition drives us to succeed, it stops us being complacent and makes us up our game. Always keep an eye on your competitors; their successes and failures can provide you valuable insight into your own career. What could you do better? How could you change things up to keep them interesting?

Dig deep 
The characters in Nashville have had their fair share of heart break. Deacon is a recovering alcoholic who has lost his one true love, Juliette is the daughter of a drug addict and Gunner’s brother was murdered. We all have our sad stories to tell, so why not channel them into your creative work? Let’s face it no one wants to read a book about your happy childhood, or the day you got a puppy! So dig deep and share the drama! You might even find the process therapeutic!

Make sure you’re in control 
Both Rayna and Juliette have changed direction in their musical career, despite the advice of their Managers to stick with what they do best. Although it might feel safe to keep going with what you know works, creative people need to be creative! Don’t force yourself to repeat the same old patterns, you’ll only end up hating the end result. Be passionate and take risks. Even if you don’t achieve the success you desire, you’ll be proud of what you have achieved.

If you don’t feel it, fake it
Life is full of knocks and people who want to criticise you. In the showbiz world of Nashville, Rayna James won’t let anyone see her down! If your confidence is at a low, fake it. Put your best face on and face the world. By pretending to be your usual brilliant creative self, you’ll not only fool everyone else, you’ll start to fool yourself too. Everyone has down days and creative people are no different, just don’t let them get you down! Go through the motions, even if you don’t feel like producing anything. Whether you’re a writer or an artist, the process of sitting down and starting work helps to trigger the creative juices. Be kind to yourself, even if what you create today is terrible, you can edit it into brilliance tomorrow.

So learn from the country music stars of Nashville and make your creative career long and successful. And if the critics start to get you down, think like Rayna James and remember "this ain't your first rodeo" and it won't be your last.

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