How to overcome Writer´s Block (for Songwriters)



As a songwriter you have probably come across that awkward silence in your head. We call it writer´s block!

Writer´s block naturally occurs, when we want to accomplish something so badly that our mind shuts just down. It happens to everyone now and then! So don´t worry. I know that´s easier said then done. There´s a lot of rebellion and fear going on subconsciously really, but this fear is unreal. You might detect the true reason behind your block when meditating around us. Or you might remain clueless. In any case, below I´ll offer 5 remedies against writer´s block. These remedies are designed to take away the fear and the pressure while writing. Here we go:

  1. Allow your thoughts to drift off: You may be working on a set of lyrics around a certain topic. Let´s say your topic of choice was “addiction”. Obviously you want to write deep, meaningful lyrics, but somehow everything you write seems shallow and boring. Now, allow yourself to drift off. Make fun of your addiction topic. Think about it as comedy. Write down a sarcastic or ironic story. It obviously isn´t meant to be published in the end, but looking at it from a different angle (a less serious one) might open new doors. You might find ways to express something that´s funny, in a sad way later. Just dare to stretch a topic from dead serious to super funny. Explore the whole story “range” and incorporate any “tone” that fits your original mood (notice my little puns;)). You´d be surprised at how much funny is in serious and how much serious is in funny. Just try it!
  2. Pretend you are teaching someone how to write lyrics. This is a very effective tool for all sorts of blocks. “To teach is to learn twice” (Joseph Joubert). As a matter of fact, once we teach someone something, we have to think about the how-tos and the techniques we apply ourselves. We also have to find words to describe things more thoroughly. So, what happens when you pretend to teach an imaginary friend how to write lyrics is that you actually really do teach yourself. Try it! It works!
  3. Still not feeling more inspired? In that case I suggest you drop the pen and go outside for a run or a workout in the gym. Physical action helps pump more oxygen and blood to your brain, which might actually get your thoughts moving also!
  4. Write for the sake of writing, not for the sake of writing something good. It might seem stupid, but sometimes we stress out too much over a specific goal. Take a sheet of paper and scribble down anything that comes to mind. It doesn’t really have to do with your actually topic of choice. Write for 5 minutes straight, without actually thinking about it. Don´t worry if you get repetitive or irrelevant. Just write down sentence after sentence until you find a certain flow. Then- go back to your topic and write down whatever your brain says to write down. I´m sure you will notice the difference.
  5. If none of the above tips and tricks worked, give it a break. Don´t feel guilty if you step away from writing for a day or two. Do something completely different. Live your life and activate all your senses. Listen to people, watch your surroundings, feel your breath and let go. Soak in the world around you and start over new when you feel ready. If there´s still nothing on your mind, skip the topic and start with a fresh one. Remember- as a songwriter you wanna write something authentic. If you don´t feel anything over a certain topic, it might not be your song to write!