Writers block is the worst. Not getting over it is even worse. Here are some ways to get past the point of almost no return.
ABC = Always Be Creating
If you write once every week or so – you don’t have writers block you just haven’t found your groove. You are hardly trying. You must be writing constantly to produce quality material. Writing every day gets juices going and keep you fresh and your chops up.
Writing Is Re-Writing
If you find yourself stuck go back to some old riffs, old songs, songs from past bands, unreleased songs, etc. Rip apart old riffs. Steal the best parts. If a riff inspires you, play it over and over. Just because it used to be part of a different song doesn’t mean it can’t morph into something completely new and inspire an entirely new track. Sometimes and old song has several parts that are great in it but for some reason don’t mesh well or flow together, so pick it apart. If a verse didn’t seem to carry the song forward but still has great attributes, use it as a one bar transition in a different song. Sometimes less is more so using old chorus lines or verses as quick intros or transition pieces might be the trick, and can sometimes be really impactful. Little tricks like this can get over the hump. Perfectionism kills groove. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time through. Be ok with writing something that is less than perfect. Just write. Sit on it and return to it later with fresh ears and renewed energy.
Get A Little Help From Your Friends.
If you know musicians in other bands than hit them up. This may sound weird – until you try it. If you are in an active band and have a few years of gigging under you belt in the local scene than chances are you know a good handful of other talented musicians. Invite them over to your studio. Sometimes working one on one with someone outside of the band can be super helpful.
Sometimes you don’t have to write, sometimes you can “borrow”.
It is no secret that a lot of great artists have become great by stealing from other great artists. And stealing doesn’t always mean a blatant ripoff… Sometimes it means a riff inspires you to write something in a similar fashion. It may be a particular song structure that can be used as a launching pint for your new song. Take for example when Nirvana borrowed heavily from the song, “Eighties” by the U.K. band Killing Joke. If you’ve never heard, then take a listen to the similarity between the that and “Come As You Are” by Nirvana. Even one of the arguably best rock bands of all time even needed a little help every once in a while, it seems.
Change Of Pace.
If you feel yourself getting fried, go for a walk and return refreshed. Try to eliminate all distractions. Turn off phones and computers. Lock yourself in a room for hours. If you still feel like you have writers block try and change your environment. Write a cover – and by write I don’t mean learn to pay another bands song I actually mean re-write it in your own way. Choose a song you like from a completely different genre and re-write it to fit your style. It is never a bad idea to step away and try a different creative outlet. Sometimes this hits a reset button and allows you to come back to writing music and overcome the hurdles of writers block.