Fending Off Writer’s Block

If you ever tried to compose a song or write any kind of music, then you probably experienced writer’s block. This is when you just stare in the void desperately trying to come up with an idea, but nothing comes to your mind.

No matter how hard you stare, the piece of paper in front of you is going to stay blank. No matter how hard you will your mind to be creative, nothing comes to you. This is writer’s block.

It’s not a fun situation to be in.

And if you’ve never tried to write a song… tell you what, you will probably experience the same whenever you want to improvise on your instrument, or do something creative in general.

Now, here’s the thing: the easiest way to fight writer’s block is to do it BEFORE you have it. Hey, if it has happened to you already, no problem: there ARE ways to eliminate it (see below)… but it’s much easier if you start working on it before it happens.

Like an illness, prevention is easier and better than the cure. An apple a day and all that…

So here’s a few short points that can help you:

Either you are writing, or you are judging your writing. Do not mix the two activities. There is a little part of your brain that will criticize EVERYTHING you do, and if you give it an inch it will take a mile. And guess what’s going to happen if you let it run free and criticize everything you write? That’s right: your brain will stop giving you ideas.

Write a little something every day. This could be just a chord progression, or a couple of lines of lyrics, or a short melody. You do not have to remember it, you do not have to record it down… you don’t even have to LIKE it. Just write something until it becomes an habit.

Also (very important): watch the video below where I answer the questions of a young composers regarding inspiration and writer’s block. You will find many things that do apply in your situation.

And if you haven’t written anything today yet… just go do it now! (It’s easy once you get started).

About The Author

Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock musician, and enjoys writing helping aspiring composers by writing columns about songwriting.