Overcoming writer's block

celebrations
music
tips-and-tricks
item-feedback

#1

After a period of almost two months not uploading a single track due to a severe case of writer’s block, I finally got a track uploaded and approved again:

It’s funny how creativity works. One moment you’re producing tracks left and right, as if your life depends on it, and the next you struggle to motivate yourself to even start up your DAW.

During this time of total inspirationlessness you start to doubt everything you do and even everything you have done up to that point. When you listen to the tracks you produced in the past, they sound boring. Is it good enough? Do I want to continue doing this? Why are my headphones on backwards? Questions like these make you numb and create an anti-creative wall around you.

The will to break this feeling is so strong and the more you try, the further away you seem to get from achieving it.

All the tips and tricks such as listening to music and working out don’t seem to help and you feel totally empty.

This is a good time to step back for a while.

Just don’t focus on your work at all for a period of time and come back to it when you feel energetic and fresh. You’ll see that the stuff you thought was dull and boring earlier sound right again!

Don’t know if this is the same for everyone, but this is how I experienced it, and I hope I’ll be inspired for the time coming.

Cheers,

Martijn


#2

Sorry you went through that @Flowsopher. I haven’t hit that kind of block yet and I hope I don’t. However, I know we are all susceptible to it in many different ways. Glad you are back at the console again. I hope 2017 is a satisfying year for you. Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays :slight_smile:


#3

I know this. Sometimes we must take a step back. It is necessary to regenerate and not to insist. When it’s come back it’s for long… Happy new year with inspiration!

BB


#4

People and even musicians nowadays think (especially in stock music - ironic name isn’t it…) that success in writing music comes with a plan. By observing, copying, etc… Wrong. A famous Jazz musican whose name I forgot said that musicians nowadays write with their brains instead of their hearts. I agree. Writing music just by beeing rational doesn’t work. Maybe if you’re a good copyist and observer you can get some minor success, like many copycats here on AJ, but in the end you’re not a successful and respected musician just by writing a good corporate track. People forget that beeing a musician is an ongoing process. Try to write something you love, or something you always wanted to write. The rest will come to you automatically.


#5

Good words @Flowsopher and @MikeSea! I was beginning to feel a bit like this recently and decided to break completely for a couple of weeks over Christmas. Hopefully the tunes will be coming thick and fast in the new year!


#6

Overcoming the block can be really a simple task even when it seems a real block that despairs you and puts you down, lethargic and sleepy towards your goals in life (you need to have, at least, one… if you don’t, forget about this story!).
Writer’s block is only a lack of motivation, IMO. And what is motivation?.. It’s simply is a state of mind… kind of a starvation… something that moves you, something that awakes you, thats slaps you on your face and tells you… lest’s wake up and do it, f***** lazy guy, you have something to tell deeply inside of you so, let’s do it! (We all have something to say… always).
The truth is… if you’re writing for AJ library, you seat in front of your instrument or computer or whatever you use to produce your stuff and think: I have to make a f**** commercial tune in the best standards of AJ. And I have to do it right 'cause I have a fierce competition. And my bass drum and ukulele sound was awful on my last tune that didn’t sell compared to PinkZebra’s stuff that sold thousands… And also my last tune didn’t comply with my expectations, so I have to try to compose something more commercial and as good as what’s on the top of AJ top of top. And… And… And… As soon as you have this kind of thinking you’re fed! You just woke up your best enemy! It happened to me some times, when I started to upload some stuff to AJ, so I know that f** guy very well.
My approach to destroy that enemy is to don’t even think about him. Refuse to think about him. Ignore that he exists, if you will. So, how could I put him to sleep again on those stupid moments that I woke him up? Well, don’t take it for granted, despite it works for me it doesn’t mean it will work for you… everyone is different and feel life, music and what not in totally different ways so give it a try and it may work for you, as well. If it doesn’t, please don’t blame me, I’m just trying to help!
Ignore the fn guy by all means! Of course you already know that you must keep things simple, so a 4 to 6 chords progression is more than enough, right? (Most of the best successful pop songs and cinematic tunes are based on simple chord progressions.) Take one of your favourite ones, drink one or two glasses of wine and start to improvise. If you don’t like wine, beer is also good, or a whisky or… just don’t think the fn guy even exists! Record all the stuff you make, thats important! Do it 'till you feel the sensation that you’re not drunk but you already have something interesting. Ignore what you are doing for some days but keep doing it. After a week or two, if you will not end up in a Alcohol Recovery Center you most certainly will end up with some interesting stuff to work with. Stop drinking now and concentrate on your production, for your health and musical sake! :wink:


#7

Well…you missed most precious time here (oct., nov.,dec.,) in year when sales more intense. I guess would be better to have writer’s block now (jan., feb.). Wish you an inspiration!


#8

Strangely, my hiatus didn’t result in an extreme drop in sales. It dropped a little bit but sales were still okay…


#9

Hi @Flowsopher! Writer’s block isn’t any different from any other block in life that prevents you from achieving something you originally wanted. It’s actually all in your head or, occasionally some third party can influence your ‘motivation’ with some invalidation. (maybe that’s the case?)

The things you told here sound pretty much like invalidation of your own work, which leads to less confidence, which leads to less creativity and ability to produce. There could be so, so many reasons for that and they are what you should look at, not a quick fix cliches like ‘go workout’ or ‘listen to great music’.

My advice would be don’t look for any motivation, just re-think the whole scene and check if anything in your life stops you from continue doing it non stop (as obviously, that wasn’t your personal conscious decision to have a writer’s block just for fun, right? :wink:

So it happens. Blocks are BS, find your inside greatness and good luck! :slight_smile:


#10

Hi Martijn, sorry to hear/read this.
People are saying wise things here.
I like to think of it as: there has to be fuel to keep the candle burning. So one has to find his fuel, to find the motivation within. If the motivation comes from anywhere else, the fuel runs out eventually. I’ve had it too and it’s not necessarily a music or writing thing. Like you hear a lot these days (but I wil allmost vomit by the expression): one has to find it’s passion. Getting rest or distance for a while helps. That’s also how great ideas come. Getting rest, absorbing knowledge, influences and then all of a sudden…
For me it’s counterproductive if I follow/notice others too much. I also don’t want to get too much influenced, because then my music starts sounding the same (regarding the format of AJ). I mostly start with an idea of what I want to produce and lately I notice that when I let this go during the process, I get the best ideas. And it turns out to be a different track then what I wanted to start with. Now I can accept this to be a good thing.
Ofcourse I exaggerate a little bit now (to make my point), but this works for me. Maybe too for you (or others).


#11

Welcome back to the fold/creativity @Flowsopher! I just checked out some of your tracks…very original and refreshing to hear something a little different than a lot of what I hear on AJ. Best of luck in 2017!


#12

Thanks guys! All the best wishes for 2017!!


#13

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? I’m glad you’re back, @Flowsopher, now get to work! :wink:
Wish you all the best for 2017!