It happens to all of us at some point. The well of creative juices just seems to run dry for a time (which can feel like eternity) and we just feel off of our game. In sports they call it a slump, in the rat race they call it being stuck in a rut, but for writers and musicians it’s called writers block, and it can be one of the most frustrating things of all time. Here are a few things I’ve found that have helped me to get over the hump and back into the zone of blissful creation.
Listen to something outside of your comfort zone – If you’re a reggae fan, listen to some death metal, if you’re into jazz listen to some top 40. Listen to the things you normally wouldn’t and make a conscious effort to try and appreciate the elements you can and think about what it is you like and dislike about the song. Maybe you can use ideas from these songs that can bring some fresh life into your writing. Ideas can come from anywhere if you’re open minded!
Do something outside of your comfort zone – The best songs seem to come from personal experiences. In order to write your best you have to experience life to the fullest extent you can. No one did anything great playing it safe and if you don’t do things that make you uncomfortable you are going to run out of things to write about very quickly. Keep your eyes open for new experiences and new ways of looking at situations. As Mark Twain said, “Be a prodigious noticer!”
Force yourself to write no matter what – You might just stare at a piece of paper with no idea of what to write or you may write the worst song ever, but get into the habit of being creative everyday. It doesn’t matter if you come up with anything worthwhile, just the process of writing and thinking will train your brain to come up with ideas. You will find that the more you exercise your brain creatively, the easier it will be to come up with innovative ideas. And as you know, the more you do something the better you get at it.
Remember its temporary – Its ok to be frustrated. It’s been said that life is a series of frustrations occasionally interrupted by crises. Just don’t get down of yourself or give up. Worrying about something is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t really get you anywhere. Everyone hits a slump every now and again, but if you remain positive and take some pro-active steps you will eventually get over the block and be back to your creative genius self!
Of course there are probably about a million other ideas you can try as well. These are just a few things that have helped me to get over “the block”. I encourage you to try them out next time you are feeling uninspired and frustrated.
Cary Crichlow, Senior Producer and Engineer
RCR Recording Studios