There is nothing more annoying than sitting down to write some music and you end up having no idea of what to write or get stuck somewhere in the middle. Such a scenario can drain the life out of you. Sometimes, you could be having the ideas but as you work on them, they bore you somewhere in the middle and this goes on days, weeks and even months.
You may start to think that you’ve lost your magic touch. Well, that may not be the case. It’s just the usual writer’s block. Here are 5 of the best ways to overcome writer’s block :
Work Through It
For some people, this might be your only option. You have to continue writing songs which are good and you have to do it fast or there will be no food on the table. Writers get 12.5% of the money from retailing the song. So you man up and stick to it, trying out different approaches every time until things fit it together. This can be really stressful but it is what you chose when you decided to live off of creativity. Such a hurdle is what keeps away most people from getting a career in the arts as when the writer’s block hits, they run away.
The best way to get through such times is to just keep on coming up with new ideas to play around with. Eventually, one of them will end up working out. Stay away from blank pages as they will hinder your creativity. Whenever you come across one, just start scribbling on it with anything. This way you will allow ideas to freely flow through.
Other pointers to keep you going are:
Start humming, this will help in letting the sound come through and the words will follow soon after.
Record different notes on different instruments if you happen to have any instruments. Do this but by only limiting yourself to only three notes per instrument. Make them as simple as possible and loop them so as to have the sound coming over and over. Later, put in some random effects and synths and see how things work out.
If you don’t have an instrument that you can use, use your hands and the table to make sounds and hum to them. As you continue feeling the vibe of the sounds that you’re creating, try to sing something and see if you like it. You can also use anything in your house to bang on so as to come up with a variety of sounds.
2. Change Your Work Flow
Sometimes, you might have some new gear that you have to help you in your songwriting, and as time goes, you realize that it’s no longer helping you achieve your goal. What can you do to change things up? You’ll need to ask yourself, before all this equipment what did I use? A piano? A guitar? Whatever it is, go back to that.
If you’re used to working with the help of a lot of software, then switch it up and start using hardware in the creative process. This means that if you only used apps in making music, try the old-fashioned methods such as working with just a microphone and tape recorder. Paired up with your guitar or piano, you’re bound to make magic.
You can also pick up a new instrument and start learning how to play it. This will open you up to new sounds that you may not have experienced before. It will be your new shiny thing that will occupy your mind and time, thus leading to the free flow of your creative juices.
Another thing that you can change your workflow is not writing songs with the same formula that you’ve been using. If you used to write by getting the feel of melody then writing the part of the melody followed by the drums, change it up and start with a different part. This will challenge you at first, but you’ll find it very exciting and might surprise yourself by how well you can do.
3. Clear Your Mind and Your Gear
Some people will tell you that you should save all the mixes, samples and song ideas that you may have used throughout the course of time and this isn’t bad a thing as sometimes you may need them to get you out of a hole. However, they may also land you in one as they would take a lot of space on your hardware and whenever you see them, you may want to use them out of guilt that you’ve never used them or you may want to use all of them at once. Such behavior is what can lead to writer’s block, make sure that you live a minimalist life. Less is always more!
Every now and then, top writers erase everything on their hard drives and if there are any unfinished songs, they make sure that they are finished within a set period of time before they start working on new material. You can also take a step back and backup all your work before removing it from the hard disk. This will help you just in case you want to revisit something that you think may help. Afterwards, take your time to work on new things and experiment with new sounds and see where they can take you, see it as your rebirth. This approach is not for the faint-hearted but it can be liberating to start over.
4. Ignore The Song
Most often, people think that music is all about the songwriting. Well, there is the other part of music which is the sonic side – how the music actually sounds. As people, we do not give ourselves enough time to play the instruments that we have for fun and pleasure. Every time we pick up an instrument, a song has to come out of it. How about you take a week with your favorite instrument or your least favorite instrument and just play with it for sheer joy and see how that works out.
Sometimes we all need breaks to remind us of why we got into creating music
Most song writes in recent times seem to be working in a bubble as they work alone from home going at it solo. This is in contrast with music as it meant to be shared. Working with someone else can really open up your eyes as you get to see how other people approach things.
Collaborating can take many forms, for example, asking someone to give their input on the song and come up with a different version. You could even get multiple reviews then compare notes.
Often times, we all come across this hurdle but the most important thing is not to give up but to rather shuffle the board and try something new. Try out these five methods and share with us which ones worked for you.
Lori Wade is a content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. If you are interested in writing, you can find her on Twitter or Google+ or find her on other social media. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!
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