Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block as a Musician
Every musician, music producer, and songwriter faces off with writer’s block at some point in their career. If you hear that a famous artist whose music is a worldwide phenomenon has faced writer’s block, it is nothing to be surprised about.
It is the worst thing that can happen to any artist. It often happens so that your creative mind just goes blank. Many give up on their first try and for someone who has a strict deadline to meet it can be a deadly affair. How often do we hear that an up-and-coming artist has met with suicide due to writer’s block?
If you are also facing writer’s block, then you know the feeling. Words and melodies just don’t come out. But it is nothing to be afraid of. In this article, we have compiled a few tips or ways on how to overcome writer’s block. So take a deep breath, exhale and start reading.
Accept that you are in a writer’s block
Acceptance is a very effective medicine. If you keep fearing writer’s block and don’t accept that you are in one, it will only keep on intensifying. Your mental state does not need that. Instead, train your mind to accept them and turn them into positive tools for self-betterment. How to do that? Once again accept that a creative process will have its peaks and lows and that if you are in the low today, there is only one way for you to go and that is towards the peak for there is no other way to go when you are at the bottom.
Meditate to clear your mind
Writer’s block doesn’t mean that you have lost your skills, it only means that you are not in a stable mental state. No need to be alarmed. No, you don’t need a psychiatrist with a host of prescribed medicines; rather some meditation can heal your mental self. It generally takes birth from fear, mental pressure, and perfectionism. The point of meditation is to clear your mind of the thoughts that are plaguing it; free your mind from distractions around you. As
The Beatles have said, “Let it be”!
Rework on your old projects
Every music producer or songwriter has some unfinished projects stocked up. Now the idea here is to look at these projects as prospects for the future rather than a dead-end. Say you are stuck on a project and can’t seem to finish it right now. The trick here is to not give up; rather you should save the work so far in a folder and let go of it for the time being. You can always visit it at times when you are facing writer’s block.
Listen to music that you like
Sometimes the best way is to go back to your roots. Every artist, musician, and music producer has a few tracks that they love and that piqued their interest in the field so much that they chose music as a profession. Try listening to them again. Just enjoy the music and don’t feel that you need to make some music. It has worked like a charm for many as it helps to drive the fear and pressure away from your mind and get you back into that creative space.
Try borrowing song structures
While you listen to your favourite music don’t try to judge the music but rather try to listen keenly to the song structure, chord progressions, and guitar riffs played by the artist. If you do that you will find out that most of the songs composed nowadays are done in 8 and 16-bar phrases (or you may already know that). Sometimes it's best if you summarise what is happening in those phrases. They can work like guideposts when you are composing something.
Many would say that you are stealing but if you use them to create your basic structure you can come up with original ideas and that means you are simply borrowing a few structures. Don’t worry, it's acceptable and categorized as smart work.
Try another instrument or change how you write and compose a piece
Another very applicable method to overcome writer’s block is to change your approach to songwriting and/or music composition. Many music producers recommend this. You can try another instrument to write your songs. You may start writing from the middle. If your general approach is to write the lyric first and then put music to it, then try to do it backward; make some music first and then try to put the lyric to it.
If you are accustomed to writing lyrics and composing music with a piano, you may want to try your hand at a guitar. If you don’t know how to play the guitar, then this is the best time to learn it. That way you can revisit the basics and it often inspires young artists who are facing writer’s block to get back into that creative head-space.
Use a DAW to write
Many electronic musicians use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to record their music in a digital format and then share them with their professional peers. This is a great way to overcome writer’s block, as you can often get some cool ideas and feedback from others about moving forward with the piece you have composed. Several such technologies can help you get back into your creative self.
What you have to keep in mind is that there is no single solution to overcoming writer’s block. You can try out the tips that resonate with your mind set or you can apply them all. The bottom line is to not give up and keep pushing yourself with a positive attitude.