Writers in the music world face the same challenges that other writers face when it comes to being stuck in a rut where your creativity is not at the level you need it to be. It can be a very sucky thing to go through and can last for years if you have it really, really bad. One thing about writer's block is that the more you get in your head about it, the harder it can be to get out of that hole and find your way back to happy creativity.
Songwriter's block can be caused by a variety of different things, which makes it harder to find a good answer to combat it. One major reason can simply be the pressure of the project itself. Professional writers often have deadlines and a ton of self-inflicted pressure to make the next greatest song of all time, which can really hurt the creative process.
Other reasons can include depression, sickness, apathy, relationship issues, financial hardships, and a general lack of imagination. Physical trauma to the brain can block your creativity so much that you may have to completely relearn the process of writing a song.
There is no one magic answer that will allow songwriters to get out of a creative funk, but many tips and tricks can help you along the process depending on who you are as a writer, what you're going through mentally, and what you're capable of. The main thing you want to do through each of these steps is to breathe, try to find a calm space, and be optimistically present in the moment. Of course, that itself can be hard to do but just try your best.
A lot of creative energy can be revved up with a good meal and a good workout. Many musicians are so wrapped up in the song goals that they forget to do common yet vital things throughout their day like eat and get their heartbeat up for a good 30 minutes. I recommend that any songwriter start their day with a good meal and a good warmup before they even begin their writing process.
If you're going through the songwriting process and you hate every idea that comes to your head, keep writing anyway. Write down those terrible lyrics, and record that crappy melodic line even if you think it won't work. Forcing yourself through an outline of a song can help you not give up on the song altogether and allow you to come back and make improvements after you're put down the full idea.
I know a lot of writers that get stuck after writing a verse or writing the hook and they get so wrapped up in not figuring out the directly next section that they give up on the song completely. What if you skip that hook that you're stuck on, but can continue through another verse and even a bridge? Then more might come to you as your work your way through your creative challenges.
If you feel like you can't write your way through any type of process, take a break and check out Youtube. I would encourage listening to and watching your favorites to boost your inspiration as much as possible. If you want to go further, check out some newcomers or some undiscovered people that aren't so great because their beginner's journey can be a source of inspiration for you as well to see how far you've come.
Speaking of seeing how far you've come, take a moment to read and listen through your older songs. The process varies for many, but I personally love listening to my old songs so I can rag on how bad I was and immediately recognize where I went wrong thanks to my growth as a songwriter over the years. Sometimes I even find an old song that I still really love, which can be inspiring that based on the fact that I was making magic as a newbie, so of course, I can work through this current songwriter's block and make magic now!
A writing prompt can bring you lots of creative juice. You may remember this writing tool, often referred to as an essay prompt, from grade school or college when you were in English class and the teacher would hand you a list of ideas in the form of a question or statement that you could write your paper on.
Creative writing prompts take all the boring elements of essay prompts and apply them to the possibilities for your next song. In order to come up with a song idea, all you need to do is review a huge list of varying ideas to get your brain moving in the direction of creating some magic. Check these songwriting prompts out!
Songwriting shouldn't have to be a chore or a source of anxiety. Sure it can be extremely challenging, but the challenge should excite you and be a source of happiness in your life. If you find yourself in a creative rut and need to lighten the mood, try these songwriting exercises out!
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This blog was written by singer, songwriter and producer Yona Marie. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
If you are ever in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services for your music project or brand, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her song services page.