Whether you’re new to songwriting, or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ve probably experienced some form of writer’s block at some point. It happens to everyone. You sit down with the intention of writing a song, and absolutely nothing comes out. After a while, you may even start to force it, thinking that you must have something, but what you make ends up being, at best, unoriginal and dry, and at worst, just plain bad. The good news is that you will get past it. No one has ever had writer’s block for their whole life. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to be able to get through it a little quicker. Here are a few ideas for turning writer’s block into inspiration.
This isn’t always the fastest option, but it’s often the simplest. Writer’s block can sometimes be a mood, which means if you give it a few hours, or a few days, it will pass. The important thing here is to do something completely different. Waiting doesn’t mean staring at the paper until something comes out. It means cooking a meal, reading a book, getting some sleep, visiting a friend, and then maybe seeing if anything comes up. Sometimes, something will even surprise you while you’re doing something else.
Draw on your own life
Many of the best songs are stories. Think of a time in your life that caused you to feel a lot of emotion, or perhaps a time that caused you to feel extraordinarily little emotion. Really, any story that people might like to hear or read could also be a good song. Instead of thinking about the song, just think about the story. Tell it to yourself, like you would a child or a large crowd. Then start thinking about how you can fit it into the lyrics of a song.
Observe the world
Go to a public place, such as a busy coffee shop or a town square. Watch people and what they do. Listen to the conversations that are happening around you. Think about what they’re doing, and what their background is. Don’t be afraid to make something up. Sometimes the best stories are completely made up. As for the snippets of conversation, they might come in handy as lyrics, or even a general idea for your song. Remember that your interpretation doesn’t have to make any sense with the rest of the conversation. A lot of this is just creating random thoughts in your mind. Those can turn into ideas. They don’t actually need to have anything to do with where they came from.
Try writing the song out-of-order. Start with the chorus, or the last verse, or even the last line, and then see what comes before it. In the end, you may not even end up with any of the original idea, but it may lead to something that ends up being exactly what you are looking for.
There are a number of techniques that help you to directly access your subconscious. This also tends to make your ideas more random, which can also be helpful. One of these techniques is called free writing. Find a pen and paper, and just write words. It can be whatever’s in your brain, or it can be something that’s not even in your brain until after you’ve written it down. Don’t think, just write. Once you have some things on the page, look through and see if you can make any of it make sense.
A lack of inspiration is a problem that we’ve all experienced, but luckily, it’s never a permanent one. Hopefully some of these ideas will help you work through it faster. If you’d like more inspiration tips, or help with anything else related to songwriting, don’t hesitate to contact us.