5 Powerful Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

Overcome Writer’s Block guitar songwriting
Struggling with writer’s block? Don’t get discouraged. To overcome writer’s block is something that every musician has to deal with. The good news is there are many different ways to push through the feeling of being stuck.

Each person will have a few different tricks they find work best. I’ll provide you with the 5 most common methods of blasting through writer’s block so you can turn out that next chart topper!

Let’s get started.

1. Take a Break

Getting out of the environment where you usually write is the most common method of getting out of writer’s block. Take a walk, have a bite to eat, hit the gym – anything to reset the mind and come back refreshed.

Spending time away from your instrument helps you come back with a totally different mindset. Ideally, it will be something completely unrelated to making music.

Tip: going for a walk (or some other form of physical exercise) is usually the most helpful form of break. Walking for 30-minutes lets your mind breathe and recharges those creative juices.

2. Schedule in Fun Time

Placing too much pressure on yourself to write music is the easiest way to get stuck. Self-imposed deadlines where you have to get things done is a recipe for disaster in a creative environment.

The best way to combat this is to schedule in time during your work session for play. This should be a period of time where you are free to practice or play whatever you feel like at the time. Try experimenting with new concepts, go in different directions, or play whatever comes to mind.

This technique will help get the creative juices flowing and naturally discover new ways of doing things.

3. Writing in Bursts

An interesting technique is to try writing in bursts. For example, setting a time limit to write the chorus within 10-minutes. Use whatever you’ve come up with in that 10-minute period and move on to creating melodies, verses, bridges etc.

Writing in this way can sometimes short-circuit your brain into creating something completely new.

Just make sure you are strict with yourself. Whatever you have at the 10-minute deadline is what you’ll be using.

An added benefit of this method is it doesn’t take a lot of time to complete a song. You can have something completed in less than 2 hours! You can then go back and polish off sections of the song you think need work.

4. Change the Environment

Do you have one place where you’re most comfortable writing your songs? This can be a problem when it comes to writer’s block. A certain location can bring with it hidden effects on your subconscious and mental state.

This can be completely fine when things are working. However, when you’re stuck in a rut, changing your location is a perfect way to jumpstart your creativity.

Consider getting outside. Change the room you’re in, head out into public, anything to switch up your environment.

5. Mix Things Up

Do you have a routine you usually follow when writing a song? For example, do you write the intro, verse, and then chorus? Do you usually use the same style of chord progressions? Are you always drawing from the same genres?

Try flipping things around and doing something completely new. Check out a different genre and pull a new chord progression or time signature.

Write the chorus first and move onto the intro second – anything to switch things up.

It’s easy to fall into habits when it comes to creating music. We rely on what’s worked in the past and are afraid to branch out into new territory.

Jolt yourself into new territory by doing something completely different during your writing process.

Writer’s block can be very disheartening and can last for extended periods of time.

Conclusion: Overcoming Writer’s Block

While the above techniques aren’t perfect for everyone there should be at least one that will resonate with you. The key theme is to break out of your natural rhythm and come at things from different angles.

Habits and mental states can be both helpful and harmful. The trick is to know the difference and break them when required. Using the above 5 techniques you can overcome writer’s block.

As always, if you’ve found this post useful, give it a share on social media. Until next time!

About the author: Glen Parry has been a musician for over 15 years. He’s done everything the hard way so you don’t have to. You can find more musical advice and audio gear buying guides, such as the best karaoke machine, over at Audio Mastered.
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  • Songwriter Tip:

    Repetition of words isn’t the only trick in the pro’s arsenal; they will repeat the rhythmic phrasing as well. For example (and as an exercise) try writing a three-note 1-bar melody. Come up with a lyric that fits. Now repeat that same melody four times and come up with 3 additional lyrics. Add a hook and a chorus and you’re doneÉ