It is not uncommon for songwriters to experience some shortcomings when writing songs, whether it’s struggling with words, rhymes or stories. So if you work fall into that category, you are not alone and it’s good to note that this isn’t the end of the world, we all experience it occasionally.
However, if you are experiencing a complete block, then that’s a mental signal suggesting that help is needed, and I hope the ways we will show you will help you navigate through this.
Everyone gets distracted by life butting into their creativity at some stage – family duties, a heavy work schedule, commitments elsewhere, which can seriously start to hinder ones writing ability.
But these types of distractions aren’t the same as a mental blockage when it comes to songwriting. A songwriting block is when you simply cannot write. Full stop. This is when the well has dried up – Yah that happens!
Reasons for the blockage can sometimes be an imposed pressure, perhaps from yourself, friends or fans. Maybe you are forcing yourself to intentionally write a viral song that has a potential of being nominated for the Grammy’s. Even though that is good, don’t let it become a hindering factor to songwriting process.
There can be a whole host of reasons as to why you are blocked.
And all these can lead to fear of failure, which in turn can exacerbate the pressure and worsen the block – a vicious circle of non-creativity.
6 Ways to Overcome Songwriting Block
So, if you do find yourself in this awful predicament then perhaps having a look at our top tips may help:
1. Find an ideal space to create your musical magic
If you are trying to work surrounded by noise and other distractions, you might find this isn’t helping when you stare at that blank piece of paper.
We would also recommend using a paper instead of your laptop or tablet because it feels so natural, you can write different words, ideas or phrases that pops into your mind quickly and use them later if you need.
You are not looking for a well organized paper at first, that can come later when you done writing.
2. Clear the decks
make sure there are no outstanding jobs you have to do, which can cause distraction. Let’s be honest it’s hard to write a masterpiece when you’re worried about the gas bill.
3. Try and trigger your creative side by finding inspiration elsewhere
perhaps listen to other genres of music that is different from yours – this might sound too simple, but listening to music that you love from other artists might remind you of why you write also. If that doesn’t work, try go and see some live music to help you get back into the zone.
The more you try and force something, the less likely it is going to happen. Try a stream of consciousness writing – just write any words that come into your head, even if they make no sense. Write fast and don’t correct – let it all out.
The more you try and force something, the less likely it is going to happen
It is very important to have a reason why you want to write a song, what message are you trying to pass across to your listeners, is it a message of hope, love, heartbreaks or whatever it might be, that’s your focal point.
When this is identified, try to create different scenarios of your message in your mind and write them down on your paper and move on but turning those scenarios into lyrics.
6. Don’t put up barriers
Try not to beat yourself up too much
if you are more flexible with your style, you might feel less boxed in.
If you’ve always started your songwriting process by writing only, try writing to a music this time and see what changes that can make to helping you overcome blockage.
So, if you need to de-block, the more you panic, the harder it’ll be so, try a few different ways to work than your norm, and you’ll soon be back to writing that stellar song.
If not, ring for the plumber – they’re great at unblocking…!