Writer’s block is something that all songwriters will face at some point in their journey. Every person is different and might need varying ways of getting back into writing music. It can be a personal process that you can’t work though the same way every single time.
Writer’s block can sound like a scary, daunting situation, which is why I believe we could change how we think about writer’s block, rather than tackling it head-on. Here are the steps I took to changing my mindset that help me to write music every day.
Writer’s block is temporary
We so often forget that writer’s block is always temporary. Remember that in the deepest of ruts, there is an end to the frustration—we might just not know exactly when that is.
Anything can feel like writer’s block
Are you sure you’re experiencing writer’s block? Is it writer’s block if you haven’t written for a few weeks when you’re used to writing every day? Sometimes I feel as though I’m unable to write or am uninspired just because I’ve written a couple of subpar songs. Unless I haven’t written for months at a time, I try not to assume that I’m having trouble writing.
Sometimes life gets in the way
If you haven’t written in months, there might actually be a reason. Life gets in the way. Most of us have day jobs. Maybe something happened in our personal lives and we’re using an outlet that isn’t songwriting. Maybe we’re working on production or performing and songwriting has taken a backseat. Breaks are okay and do not mean we’re necessarily experiencing writer’s block.
We will be uninspired if we don’t inspire ourselves
I’m not sure inspiration happens all on its own and I often have trouble writing songs if I don’t get some quiet. I find myself listening to podcasts instead of songs I love, which can cause some struggles in writing for me. Reading about stories in books or articles can also help inspire ideas.
Alternatively, maybe we need to take chances in our personal lives to get great songs (and who can really do that in a pandemic?). Putting ourselves in emotional situations, or imagining that we do, can be a source of inspiration for many songwriters.
Writer’s block is in your mind
Maybe you don’t feel like writing, and that might be true. But the fact of the matter is, writer’s block is a concept in our minds, and the more we tell ourselves we are in a rut, the more we will feel it. Not every feeling we have is real. By choosing to not accept writer’s block in our lives, we often keep it out.
Writing is a practice/We do not write amazing songs every time
Writing can be fun, but it also isn’t always fun. Many of us will not find our way out of writer’s block until we are making time to write, no matter how bad it is. Co-writing also helps with keeping us accountable. Likely, to write the next song, we really have to sit down and practice until we come up with a song we love.