Writer’s block: It’s plagued just about every artist at some point in their creative lives- Probably more than once.
You sit down at your workstation and just can’t think of anything to write down. No spark comes to you, and there seems to be a wall between you and any positive ideas.
There are many reasons you might be experiencing writer’s block but have no fear–there are plenty of ways to get past that wall and start cranking out the tunes again.
Table of Contents
- What is Writer’s Block?
- How to Overcome Writer’s Block
- The Takeaway
What is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block is really more of an umbrella term. There can be many reasons behind why you feel like you can’t write anything, and most of them can be easily brushed away with proper practice.
Whether you’re experiencing creative exhaustion or just getting in your own way, here are some factors that might be sparking up your writer’s block.
Artists are pretty notorious for being perfectionists. Spending hours and hours on a project just to get everything perfectly in place.
This can generally be a good thing to use to your advantage. You want your music to come out of the speakers sounding just the way it does in your head, and you should be willing to do what it takes to get it there.
However, perfectionism can be a double-edged sword.
If you’ve ever felt like you keep starting ideas, but nothing is hitting quite right, you might be holding yourself at too high of a standard. Whether you just heard something that you want to try to top or you just aren’t happy with what you start, perfectionism can easily get in the way of some great ideas.
Speaking of spending hours and hours on a project, a common factor behind writer’s block is exhaustion. Our bodies and minds need rest, time away from our projects to rejuvenate.
Trying to push through ideas can sometimes be helpful, but it’s not uncommon for someone to be working tirelessly and suddenly feel like they don’t have any good ideas. This is probably your body telling you it’s time to take a step back.
Lack of Inspiration
Inspiration is a pretty vague term, but you definitely know it when you feel it. That moment when suddenly everything you’ve been listening to and looking at comes together into a perfect idea that you just have to get down.
You would be hard-pressed to try finding an artist who doesn’t heavily rely on inspiration. Icons are inspired by icons in a constant circle of aging and rising stars.
But sometimes, we don’t allow ourselves the time to open up and absorb this inspiration, and that can lead us to some serious writer’s block.
On the flip side of a lack of inspiration, sometimes too much external influence can be an issue. Comparisons to other tracks or albums can easily make you feel like nothing you write is going to be better than so-and-so, so why even try?
How to Overcome Writer’s Block
Writer’s block can feel pretty frustrating and never-ending–trust us, we know. We’ve been through it.
But writer’s block doesn’t have to ruin your groove or your day. There are plenty of exercises to help defeat writer’s block but be warned because most of these involve stepping away from your work for a minute. (Don’t worry–we promise it’ll still be there when you come back.)
Create a Routine
It might not seem like creativity and organization would play well together, but plenty of writers and artists have discussed how their routines help keep their minds feeling loose and prepared to create.
It doesn’t have to be complex, but try to create and follow a regular schedule when it comes to your creative time. If it isn’t working, then just switch it up and try something else for a while.
Have Time Away From Writing
We know you don’t want to walk away from your project even if you’re experiencing writer’s block. Or maybe you want to smash your keyboard and storm off.
Regardless, getting some time away from whatever you’re working on can really help. During these away times, a lot of creatives will have a “Hail Mary” moment.
Just Have Fun With It
You probably started creating music because you genuinely like doing it. It’s a great feeling to create something of your own, and the writing process can be a really fun time.
But sometimes, the stress of perfectionism or comparisons can make writing feel like a chore, which no one feels inspired to do.
If you have writer’s block, try just creating something silly. It doesn’t have to be good or even what you would normally make, just make anything.
If it isn’t any good, scrap it. Who cares? The goal is just to try to have fun making music again.
Try Utilizing Samples or MIDI Packs
Sometimes just getting something started is the key to overcoming writer’s block, but that can be easier said than done.
No matter what genre you’re writing, samples can be a great start place for developing ideas. Using them as a starting point and begin building on top of them is a great way to bypass coming up with that “first idea.”
MIDI chords can spark an idea within you, or flipping through might get your brain moving forward.
Do Something Boring
Alright, stay with us. It’s been shown that when we do something boring and monotonous, our brains shift gears into a more imaginative state- This is why you probably were caught daydreaming during class a few times.
If you’re having a hard time thinking of anything with your computer or instrument in front of you, try taking a shower or doing some chores. Anything that you don’t have to think about doing- A good idea just might pop into your head.
Have Multiple Projects
This is similar to having something fun to write, but we thought we would talk about it anyway. It’s sometimes helpful for us to switch gears on the project we’re working on to feel refreshed.
If you’re working on trap beats but keep getting stuck in writer’s block, try making beats of another style. You’ll probably have better luck making something else, and while doing so, the odds of coming up with something you can use for your trap beats is high.
Invest Time in Listening to Anything Besides Your Own Music
Back to inspiration. Often musicians and producers will get caught in a feedback loop of their own tracks. You’re working on an album, and you want to listen to it to find any mistakes you made or add new ideas, but then when that’s all you listen to you end up over saturating yourself and get bored.
Listening to other artists can help keep you on your toes and stay inspired. Always taking in new, exciting music will continuously give you new ideas to incorporate into your own music.
Not to mention, listening to something else gives you a clean slate when you come back to what you were originally working on.
Writer’s block can be an irritating experience, especially when you’re in the middle of a project and just excited to get some ideas flowing.
Don’t get too bogged down by it though, remember that all of the great icons before you have been in the same place. Take a breath, step away, relax your mind.
More often than not, forcing yourself to come up with something great isn’t going to work, so just take a minute and reset your mind so you can come back to work with some fresh ideas.
Is Perfectionism Good? | Grammarly
Mental Fatigue | Blog.Doist.com
How Having A Routine Can Help Your Creativity | ChelseaPenningtonAuthor.com