Let unforeseen circumstances become your new creative break: How to beat writer’s block
“There is no set way to write a song, either they come or they don’t?”
Do you agree?
Everyone has had that “Where-did-that-come-from?” moment after finishing a song. You are hit with the reality that what you just created is going to be something special, something that touches people. Where does that creativity come from?
Some songs just come to you but only if you exercise those creative muscles. This blog is the ultimate guide to getting over writer’s block and getting your creative juices flowing.
1. Listen to The Instrument
If the guitar feels like it wants a sad song from the chords you randomly started messing with, then make it a sad song. Your job is to sit with your instrument and play. Whether that’s a guitar, piano, MPC or just a laptop. Focus on your input and don’t try to force the output.
Your instrument will lead you in the right direction. Don’t think, just go with the flow
2. Make Mistakes
Try a new instrument or a new technique. Technical proficiency does not matter. What we are doing here is getting your creative juices flowing. We’re not trying to be a master of the cello your first time around. Getting out of your comfort zone is the easiest way to beat writer’s block.
3. List of Titles
One of the most difficult parts of finishing a song is getting the chorus right. The chorus is what sticks with people and what people sing along to but it’s easy to feel that it’s not quite right.
Try keeping a long list of titles for songs that you can use as a launching pad for songwriting. Struggling to add lyrics to a nearly finished song? Use these song titles to stir some new ideas. If you are really lost, next time you are riding shotgun look around at building and business titles and right down anything that you think has a nice ring to it.
4. Write in Character
Not every song has to be about the last person that broke your heart or upset you.
You can create a character of your own or choose any existing character and describe how this character moves, talks, acts. Write something from that character’s perspective, how would that character feel, or react to your own circumstances.
Challenge your friends to come up with a character that you will write a song about.
5. Switch Media
Highly recommended to beat writer’s block. The likes of Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer are always attesting to the power that this technique has on boosting their creativity.
Spend time writing poetry or drawing/painting and then go back to songwriting. It can be truly rejuvenating for your songwriting. Creating different kinds of art stimulates different parts of your brain and gives your songwriting brain a rest. These new works of art can also give you great ideas to bring back to your songwriting.
6. Be Transparent when Collaborating
Having an open and trusting relationship with your collaborator is a must. Making art is a very personal act. If you don’t feel comfortable with your collaborator, you’re not going to be effective as a team.
It’s important to be able to ask for feedback and equally important to be able to receive that feedback and act on it. For example, let your collaborator hear your song or read your lyrics and ask them “what does it sound like this song is about?”, “what should happen next in this story?” Listen to their response and ask yourself if you agree with them. Try to remove your ego from the equation and write the best possible version of your song.
7. Cut yourself some slack.
Perfectionism can be a very good thing but do not let it keep you from creating. Do not hold back from putting out your art to the masses because you are spending too much time on fine tuning things. Obviously, you know balance, but sometimes it might shock you what people love. You could pour your heart and soul out on one specific track, but it might be that one acoustic track or a song that took you all of 30 min to write that might be your next big break. Be bold and dare to be different, but most importantly put your art out there.
Keep up the hard work and you’ll beat writer’s block in no time!