Listen to other music
This one seems like a no-brainer but actually listen to music. It is very often surprising how little time professional musicians and composers spend listening to music other than their own. “When I leave the studio in the evening, I don’t want to hear a single song or track anymore.” is one of the sentences I’ve heard quite several times and while this point is understandable when working long hours in a studio on time consuming projects, not listening to any other music at all is probably one of the worst things you can do as a composer. Not only does it mean that you will not get any input and possible thought provoking new influences but you will eventually miss the development of music, which is one factor that is crucial when working in the field of media music. Besides that, not listening to music is also a step in the direction of actually losing the fun in music. Make it a habit to listen to music, in your car, while working out, while having dinner etc. but also make it a habit to sit down once in a while and actually listen consciously and with your full attention to music. Don’t just listen to music that you instantly enjoy but also try listening to things that are outside of your comfort zone. In my opinion all that is not just a simple “Yeah, I’ll do it when I got time.” but rather one of the most important things when being a composer.