Write a Song: Getting Past Writer’s BlockBy
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
On good days, when the perfect lyrics and glorious melody flow with alarming speed, you couldn’t be happier. Then there are the bad days: when the effort to write a song feels like climbing Everest, when the blank page stares back at you for hours, when every bridge is one you’ve heard before. Those days—when you’re crippled by writer’s block—are dark, agonizing, and frustrating. Instead of giving up, questioning your talent, or wallowing in the darkness, give these tips for getting past writer’s block a try:
Focus On What You Know
If you’re struggling to write a song, take a break to focus on what you already know. Jam out to some songs you know very well, whether they are your songs or cover material. Having fun and playing music you are already proficient at can restore your confidence and open you up for inspiration.
Do Something Else
Another good piece of advice for musicians with writer’s block is to do something else. Take your mind off your work. Shoot pool, shoot hoops, or shoot skeet. Watch a movie, make a great meal, go roller skating, go ice skating, go for a walk, or whatever else you want to do. Get out of the mindset that you have to write a song, and the song may seek you out.
This may sound like cheating, but one of the best solutions for being unable to write lyrics may be to read some great writing. The type of writing is up to you; it can be poetry, plays, short stories, novels, non-fiction, or something totally different. But feeding your brain something that’s not music can be just what the dormant lyric writer inside of you always needed.
Remember: Nothing’s Perfect
As hard as this is, you have to stop being your own worst critic. If you find yourself trashing what little progress you have made or constantly questioning your decisions, step back from the song. Don’t pressure yourself to have flawless songs immediately; you didn’t master your instrument overnight, so why do you expect songs to happen overnight? Come back to it in a few days, or (if it’s close to finished) play around with it at a show or two. You’ll be surprised by the way inspiration strikes.
Do you suffer from writer’s block when trying to write a song? What do you do to get through it?