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i'm on a writer's block

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i'm on a writer's block

Postby vocalmonstrosity » Mon May 31, 2021 11:45 am

i'm pretty new at songwriting and so far, i have been pumping out good lyrics. but recently, i started having a writer's block. no ideas, no anything whatsoever. i'm stuck for weeks already. i don't know what happened to me.

do you have any tips in recovering from this block? willing to try anything to get over this.
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Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby blinddrew » Mon May 31, 2021 1:08 pm

Ok, a few things that work for me:
1) take yourself somewhere different. Go for a walk, find a different cafe, jump on a tourist bus tour... Anything to mix up your environment. Make notes about who you see and how people behave.
2) Grab a copy of a good newspaper, something that does proper reporting not just celebrity gossip, and read through the stories. Look for themes or jarring inconsistencies. Who's writing the stories? Who's reading them? What are the personal stories behind the writers and readers?
3) Find a nice quiet room you know well, and really study it. The floorboards, the ceiling rose, the decoration. Who might have lived here before? What secrets could be buried here? What greatness might still come from this small space?
4) Pick up a different instrument, even if it's one you can barely play. Where does this take you in terms of harmony and rhythm? How does it feel to struggle and wrestle with something?
5) Ignore the instruments altogether. Write a pure set of lyrics to a melody unconstrained by chords or instrumentation. Or dispose of melody as well and write a poem to a beat.
6) Pretend to be your best friend. What moves them? What would they write about?
7) Pretend to be your worst enemy. How would it feel to be really evil? Can you write a song without an essence of redeeming features?
8) Set a metronome really fast, where does that send you? Then set it really slow.
9) Mix up your listening, tune to a new radio station or fish out some old records. Or, if you haven't binned them already, any CDs that you bought, played once, were really disappointed with and never listened to again. Try and listen for whatever aspect got them signed in the first place.
10) Write a letter that you always wanted to write but never had the guts or the opportunity to.
11) Swap your focus. Do you normally write about people and emotions? Write about animals and infrastructure. Do you normally write about death, monkeys and space-hardware? Write a love song.
Finally
12) Space and permission. For me these are the critical factors for any creative activity. Firstly you have to get yourself into the right space to create. That will be different for everyone and might not even be consistent for you (hence point 1 above). But if you're not in the right environment then everything else will be more difficult. Permission is not about asking the boss for the afternoon off, it's about giving yourself permission to dedicate time to this task. Tell yourself that it's ok not to be trying to clean the house, do the errands, make the dinner. Dedicate some time to the job in hand and allow yourself not to be distracted.
But this last one can be very addictive, if you're in a relationship, don't be a fool about it. ;)

Hope some of that helps, if not I'm sure someone else will be along in a bit with more ideas.
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Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby Albatross » Mon May 31, 2021 1:53 pm

I forbid you to write for the next two weeks!
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Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby Arpangel » Mon May 31, 2021 2:39 pm

The more you think about it the worse it will be, it happens, just do something else, you can’t force it, if you had something desperate to write, it would come out, don’t worry about it, wait until something inspires you, it will.
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:45 pm

I refer you to my signature below.
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont bore us with beefing about it. Go fishing instead.

Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby wdsteele » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:10 pm

If you are in the wrong frame of mind lyrically , nothing you write might seem so great , “later” can change how you feel quite dramatically , so keep writing anyhow and then look back sometime later .
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Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:32 pm

blinddrew wrote:Ok, a few things that work for me...

Hope some of that helps, if not I'm sure someone else will be along in a bit with more ideas.


Wow - I'm going to print that list out and refer to it in future. What a treasure trove of good ideas! :clap:


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Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:39 am

Thanks Martin, mostly stolen from a couple of songwriting retreats I've been on but with a few additions.
The other fun one can be to pick a top 10 single at random and imagine being commissioned to write a song for that artist. The further away from your usual genre the better. :)
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Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby AlasdairEaston » Thu Jun 03, 2021 12:12 pm

By some strange chance this video arrived in my feed this morning. I've no idea whether the guy's got any credentials in this area but I like the idea he starts with: it's a fear of bad writing that's the real problem, and you just need to write through it. If you write enough then bad writing can't persist and good writing will sneak through. Maybe it'll help.

https://youtu.be/_9VAsQTVJWw
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Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:03 pm

AlasdairEaston wrote:By some strange chance this video arrived in my feed this morning. I've no idea whether the guy's got any credentials in this area but I like the idea he starts with: it's a fear of bad writing that's the real problem, and you just need to write through it. If you write enough then bad writing can't persist and good writing will sneak through. Maybe it'll help.

https://youtu.be/_9VAsQTVJWw

Very sound advice!

I've heard that advice before to just write, preferably the first thing you do after you get up, while your mind is still fresh from a night's sleep, and not worry about the outcome, and it does work.


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Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby RichardT » Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:09 pm

AlasdairEaston wrote:By some strange chance this video arrived in my feed this morning. I've no idea whether the guy's got any credentials in this area but I like the idea he starts with: it's a fear of bad writing that's the real problem, and you just need to write through it. If you write enough then bad writing can't persist and good writing will sneak through. Maybe it'll help.

https://youtu.be/_9VAsQTVJWw

I think there’s a lot of truth in that!

I also think it can help if you try writing after a bad night’s sleep.
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Re: i'm on a writer's block

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:37 pm

...or after a good night's sleep containing some fascinating dreams ;)


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