5 Quick Ideas to Overcome Writers Block
We’ve all suffered moments of lack of creativity – times where we just can’t seem to get anything worthwhile musically from our brains into the computer. I can’t remember who said it but this paradigm has been a big game changer for all areas of my life:
“Don’t wait to work until you feel inspired, you get inspired by working.”
Here’s five different ideas to try on to help get the ball rolling:
1. Write as if you were writing for someone specific
Consider writing a tune for your girlfriend you love, boss you hate, cat that sleeps on your synth, anyone. Try to convey something, some emotion to someone else. This might also help take the pressure off from “trying to produce something the electronic music community will like”. Screw em; put togetheran angry amen tune for your boss or a sexy slow jam for the lady. Heck even show it to her
2. Don’t stick to one tempo/genre (work with what comes to you)
Experiment working in a different style or tempo then you usually do. If you always write dubstep, try sequencing some 125bpm house. If you’re trying to write drum and bass and nothing is coming to you, maybe even try writing in half time. Changing the tempo of a project already started and starting at an entirely new tempo can both be refreshing. Go with the flow, even if it is different.
3. Turn your computer/ screen off
Starring at a blank sequencer trying to make magic happen? We’ve all been there – it sucks. Personally sometimes I find writing on a computer a bit cold and disconnected. Taking a more interactive approach and getting anything going can be a useful shift. Think about loading up a synth patch and playing some notes with your monitor off. Press record, turn off your screen and then play around until you find a hook that moves you. Alternatively, those of you with hardware synths will likely love ditching the computer all together and building some tasty patches separately. Although I know the brain’s functioning is much more complex, I’m assuming engaging in activities like this generally shift some activity from the “logical” left side of the brain to the more “creative” right.
4. Go for a jog / Get out of the house for a bit
Exercise is amazing for productivity. Entrepreneurial god/billionaire Richard Branson has stated that exercise (swimming in his case I believe) is one of the most productivity boosting activities available (doubling his own capabilities). If you’re stuck, even a walk around the block can be refreshing and help clear your mind. Taking breaks is key for writing good music consistently. It gives your brain a rest and redirects conscious attention while your subconscious mind can work on any situations you would like to create results for.
5. Use visual imagery to aid writing process
A more “right brained/creative” approach suggested from my good friend and producer Atma - imagine different environments and corresponding sounds or music. Try really getting into this. Mentally explore what a song would be like in a cave, forest, underwater, etc. Hear subtle sounds and include them in your work. What does music sound like in the forests of Japan? This approach may be more useful if you are writing atmospheric, tribal, or ambient music, but simply imagining an inspiring space may also bear fun or useful results.
- Ask other people what they do to inspire themselves or break thorough writers block.
- Bookmark this page, come back and try new ideas when you want to get momentum going.