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How do you break writer's block?


chevybusa

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Hey all. I've been in a serious rut for quite some time...3 years, to be exact. I was quite the prolific writer (I play keys and write instrumentals of all different genres) back then, but I just haven't been able to come up with any thing new, I was just wondering what other folks have done in this situation, any advice is greatly appreciated!

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I have had bouts and blocks but nothing that ever lasted 3 years.How is this possible?Are you cooped with a full time job and no time to devote to your craft?I would seriously sit down and think about what is truly stopping you...it can be a lot of different things.If I have certain major life crisis I must deal with sometimes this blocks me, but sometimes it helps me.To get back to your question of how to get rid of it--listen to some great writers.Go back and listen to people who first inspired you---listen closely.Then try listening to new artists.

Try recording a new song and listen back to it---sometimes it helps to get inspired when you actually listen to yourself even if a tune is undone or it's just a riff. Noodle with new sounds...and if nothing like this works read a good novel heheh...Also a note for thought-often a block is just a sign you have reached a new plateau in your musicianship and are truly bored with what you are doing.

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If you record your own stuff, record some covers. Just staying musically active should shake you out of your doldrums, even if it's recording someone else' music. Just a thought.

 

Another thought is to just go ahead and write some really bad stuff. From doing that, you might find 8 bars that are truly inspired and inspiring, which could actually go on to fuel a ton of new stuff. It might not. But doing nothing obviously isn't working.

 

If you have been doing the things I suggest, then stop everything and take a break. Buy an old British car get immersed in that for 6 months. I find that if I'm thinking about other things when I'm doing music and not really there, the juices stop flowing. However, if I'm doing non-musical, but fun, work in another hobby, tunes start popping into my head while I'm doing something unmusically related like replacing the clutch in my Spitfire.

 

Good luck!

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a song or two in two days. then force yourself to do it. that will unconstipate ya!

 

 

I do something similar. I come up with a concept for a song, then force myself to write it out. Sometimes having an end goal to get to helps me. Also, sometimes just to exercise writing skills I'll take a cover song and make myself change it's lyrics to something completely different, which forces me to basically make my own lyrics to a tune that's set in stone. Anything like that can help get your writer's imagination and inspiration out of a rut. I like the above idea that once you start you have a goal to finish it in a set time, too. Even if it doesn't come out what you would consider well, at least you have accomplished something, and sometimes just forcing it to start again will help you get back to being creative.

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Right, what others are suggesting is "just do it anyway". You don't need a great idea to begin. You don't even need an idea. Just... put... one... foot... in... front... of... the.... other. Don't judge, create. Then judge later and edit.

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when I had creative writing in college with novelist Kate Braverman, she used to always suggest just start writing and go back later and delete your first chapter (it's crap no matter how hard you try).

 

probably applies to lyrics as well. you just need to get started without your inner critic/censor and after you get on a roll things will start flowing easier. Go back and delete you first verse - it's crap. ;)

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when I had creative writing in college with novelist Kate Braverman, she used to always suggest just start writing and go back later and delete your first chapter (it's crap no matter how hard you try).


probably applies to lyrics as well. you just need to get started without your inner critic/censor and after you get on a roll things will start flowing easier. Go back and delete you first verse - it's crap.
;)

The last poetry reading I ever did was opening up for a lineup of women writers who included Braverman, reading a chapter from what I believe became Lithium for Medea. (Wanda Coleman was also on the bill.) I was so nervous I pretty much sped-read my stuff. Which was too bad. 5 or 6 years later I took one last poetry class just to keep my hand in and found my, you should pardon the expression, voice. I had those middle aged returning women students in the palm of my hand, I'll tell you... :D

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start playing and make up lyrics over them. you're forced to create that way, and you're naturally going to try to come up with something that doesn't suck. you'll often surprise yourself with what you come up with.

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Read "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield. It's about writer's block but it totally applies to songwriters. If you don't want to read the book, then here's some advice from it. DEDICATE some time each day to sit down and write. No excuses. Just do it. Eventually you'll come up with some songs.

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another method that works for me is to just play a lot of songs with lyrics. one after another, and listening to lots when i'm not playing. letting all those lyrics stew around in my subconscious.

also, not worrying about the quality of the writing.

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when i get stuck, i just put the guitar down and do something else for a bit. it may be a few hours or a day or so but when i comeback, ideas come back. or i play around on the 12 string for a while.

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Here's something that one of my music teachers told me, I hope this helps~

Her name is Amma and she is a living saint from India~~

 

: Amma, being an artist, a musician, I would like to know what my attitude toward my profession should be and how to express more and more of my musical talents?

 

A: Art is God's beauty manifested in the form of music, painting, dance and so forth. It is one of the easiest ways to realize one's inherent divinity. There are many saints who found God through music. So, you are specially blessed to be a musician. In regards to your attitude towards your profession, be a beginner, a child in front of God, in front of the divine. This will enable you to tap into the infinite possibilities of your mind. And this, in turn, will help you manifest more and more of your musical talents in a much deeper way.

 

 

 

Q: But Amma, how to be a child, a beginner?

 

A: Just be accepting and recognizing your ignorance, you automatically become a beginner.

 

 

 

Q: I understand that, but I am not completely ignorant. I am a trained musician.

 

 

 

A: How much training do you have?

 

Q: I studied music for six years and have been a performing artist for the last 14 years.

 

 

 

A: How big is space?

 

Q: (sounding a little puzzled) I don't understand your question.

 

 

 

A: (smiling) You don't understand the question because you don't understand space, isn't it so?

 

Q: (shrugging my shoulders) Maybe.

 

 

 

A: Maybe?

 

Q: But what is the connection between my question and Your asking, "How big is space?"

 

A: There is a connection. Pure music is as big as space. It is God. it is pure knowledge. it is the secret of allowing the pure sound of the universe to flow through you. You cannot learn music in 20 years. You may have been singing for the last 20 years, but to truly understand music means to realize music as your own Self. In order to realize music as your Self, you need to allow music to completely possess you. For more music to occupy your heart, you need to create more space within. More thoughts mean less space.

 

Now, contemplate on this, "How much space do I have within me to spare for pure music?"

 

If you really wish more and more of your musical talents to manifest, lessen the quantity of unnecessary thoughts and allow more space for the energy of music to flow within you.

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Hey all. I've been in a serious rut for quite some time...3 years, to be exact. I was quite the prolific writer (I play keys and write instrumentals of all different genres) back then, but I just haven't been able to come up with any thing new, I was just wondering what other folks have done in this situation, any advice is greatly appreciated!

 

I am constantly learning NEW MUSICs. I hardly ever have writers block(can't remember the last time i was blocked) cause I'm always learning new musics and new styles.

I'll learn three or four(or ten) new tunes and make something up from the bones .

I'll learn a new style and try to make an authentic song in that style from what i learned.

I was a three chord rocker but now I can do AUTHENTIC jazz and blues and reggae and ska and country and bluegrass and lots more.

Learn about HAIKUS to learn about being succinct and saying a lot with a little.

learn to Be a master of the TWO MINUTE SONG.

finde out what earth tones are.

learn about NATURAL RYTHYMS and why they're important to your listeners.

if you are unable to read and write NOTATION then learn something about how that whole thang works.

Take up PIANO if you are a guitarist.

If you is learning new stuff you will never be blocked.

I promise.:wave:

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I've found that taking a line from different songs helps at times.

for example: take the first line from one song and add another line from a different song to it, you can change the words around to fit whatever timing you're doing and can always interchange the chords from different songs so long as they're in key. It works out great at times Good luck

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