Songwriter's Block

When Your Creative Process Slams on the Brakes

There’s a analogy for writer’s block that I’ve seen, written by Patrica Huston, MD, in the January 1998 edition of Canadian Family Physician, that succinctly describes what happens when we can’t write anymore: Medical writer and editor Elizabeth Whalen suggests that writer’s block is an example of a “right brain-left brain” conflict. The right, or […]

Guitarist - Singer - Songwriter

How Pretending Can Help Your Songwriting Process

I’ve seen a quote online, attributed to James Taylor, that goes, “I started being a songwriter pretending I could do it, and it turned out I could.” It’s worth thinking about that statement, because there’s a positive aspect to it, pertaining to one’s basic zeal for songwriting: “If I just dive in, acting as if […]

Songwriter Listening

Listening: The Best Antidote When Writer’s Block Hits

If you ever spend time reading or listening to interviews with some of the world’s best songwriters, you’ll probably notice how much time they spend talking about other people’s music. McCartney often talks about how he was influenced by Dylan, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and many others from many genres. To McCartney, listening to others […]

Stepping Away From Songwriting Can Help Cure Writer’s Block

As you write songs, you’re digging into your creative mind to concoct something imaginative — something that the world hasn’t heard before. That level of creativity isn’t easy to maintain. If you’re a daily songwriter (and most of the successful ones write almost every day), there is an unwelcome partner working alongside you: frustration. Frustration is normal […]

Songwriting frustration

When Songwriting Ideas Don’t Result in a Finished Song

Most songwriters are well acquainted with the frustration of having a great song idea, but having it fizzle out. You had such high hopes, but now your idea seems to have gone nowhere. To properly address this frustration, we need to look at two aspects of it: Why the idea went nowhere; and What to […]

Songwriter and pen

Can Songwriting Abilities Vanish?

A couple of posts ago, I wrote about what to do when you think all your songwriting ideas sound bad. Thinking about that always seems to bring things around to writer’s block, and it’s possible that you’re going through that right now. Is it bad enough that you find yourself asking, Can my songwriting abilities […]