How to Overcome Writer's Block
We've all been there.
We need to write.
The music needs to be written. The lyrics need to be finished. But for the past hour or so, you've just been sitting mindlessly in front of your computer.
The bright white screen and blinking cursor are just sitting there, taunting you. Or how many times have you put your pencil to paper and then quickly pulled away before making a single mark?
You've probably wasted time surfing the web and messing around on your phone. You've probably tweeted out to your followers about your #writersblock.
Chances are you're reading this right now because you're struggling with writer's block.
Don't feel bad, it's natural.
Every songwriter experiences writer's block. Your idols still experience it. That's the problem with creativity; we can't turn it on and off with a switch.
However, there are a few things that can knock us out of the funk.
If you're struggling to write right now, below are seven things you can do to try to snap out of it.
1. Don't Try to Be Perfect
This is huge, and it's something that hampers all kinds of writers.
You focus so much on being perfect that you end up not being able to write anything at all.
The search for the perfect words, sentences, analogies, and rhymes leaves you in a state of paralysis.
Trying to be perfect takes you out of the creative mindset and leaves you continuously critiquing your work.
When you write, focus on nurturing your creativity rather than being perfect. Let the music and lyrics come to you as they are.
Once everything is written out, then you can go back and tweak it.
2. Remove Distractions
Who can focus when they're being bombarded with distractions? How can anyone be creative when they've got 1,000 other things poking at them?
Sometimes you have writer's block simply because you aren't focused on your writing.
How many times do you grab your cell phone when you try to write? How many different tabs are open on your computer?
Silence your phone. Even better, put it in another room.
Close every tab except the one you're working on.
To be able to get in the flow and release your creativity you need to be 100% focused on what you're doing.
3. Never Force It
You should try your best to write on a consistent basis, but be careful not to force anything.
If you're writing for the sake of writing but aren't coming up with anything worthwhile, take a break.
People will be able to tell when your writing is forced.
Just take a break. Leave the room, forget about your writing, and come back when you feel better.
The last thing you want is forced lyrics that kill the rest of your song.
4. Go Somewhere Else
You might be amazed at what changing your environment can do for you.
If you usually write in a studio or bedroom, go outside to see if that helps break your writer's block.
Or, go to the local library, coffee shop, or even a local college campus.
Breaking your brains regular pattern will help you relax and improve your creativity.
5. Practice Freeform Writing
If nothing at all seems to be working, try writing free form.
Or, as some folk like to call it, a brain dump.
Take out a notebook, open a Google Doc or a note app on your phone.
Then just write. About anything. Whatever comes to mind can be put down on paper.
It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't even have to be in sentences.
Just get everything out of your mind and onto a piece of paper or document.
Releasing and capturing your stream of consciousness will allow you to start fresh, and it can also act as a brainstorming session.
Once you're done with your brain dump, go back through what you've written to see if there are any good ideas hidden in the mess. This can actually be quite fun if you like piecing ideas together.
6. Stick to a Schedule
If you want to get serious about writing, you need to pick a specific time each day to do nothing but write.
The mistake many people make is thinking they can wake up and write whenever they get a chance.
Before you know it, the day is gone and you didn't get anything written.
Instead of giving yourself the entire day to write, restrict yourself to a two or three-hour block of time. Or one hour. Or 15-minutes. Whatever time you can allot entirely to writing.
During that time frame, it is your ultimate goal to worry about nothing but writing. Avoid distractions and just write. Speaking of goals...
7. Set Clear Goals
Anyone will have a hard time writing if they aren't sure why they're writing.
You should always keep in mind the original goals you had for your song.
- Who are you writing for?
- Are you looking to evoke a particular emotion?
- What is the central theme?
- What style are you shooting for?
Give yourself some creative freedom, but always make sure you have specific goals when you write.
Writing without clear goals is like running a race without a finish line.
Start Writing Now
Time to get those words out of your head and into writing. It's okay to struggle with writer's block; we all do.
Just don't let it consume your entire day or the time you've allocated yourself to write.
Using the ideas above, you should be able to break through your writer's block, and the ideas should start flowing.
One problem many musicians can have when it comes to writing and writer's block is not having an immersive and creative environment.
If you are looking to defeat writer's block and maximize your potential as a musician, one fantastic way is by attending a Music College.
The Atlanta Institute of Music and Media is a wonderful music school if you're interested in pursuing vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, or music production.
In addition to industry-leading instructors, exclusive studios, and exciting workshops, are you curious what AIMM could offer you and your ambition?
Click the link below and find out why AIMM would be perfect for you today.
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