Singer - Songwriter

Creative Exhaustion

What we call writer’s block has many possible causes, but most of them related to fear, and in particular a fear of failure.

But fear is not often the first step in a creative block. For many songwriters, it’s creative exhaustion.

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To feel creatively exhausted means that you have the best of intentions, but when you sit down to write, nothing happens. And I mean that quite literally; it’s not that you’re creating bad ideas: you’re creating no ideas.

And that causes a momentary panic which, assuming you end your songwriting session with nothing to show for your efforts, turns rapidly to fear: the fear that you’ll never have good ideas again.

If you’re going through creative exhaustion right now, here are some thoughts for you to ponder:

  1. All songwriters draw that kind of blank at some point, so you’re in good company.
  2. Change your process. If you normally like starting with working out lyrics, but nothing’s happening, it’s a great idea to regroup by changing focus to working out chords or melodic bits.
  3. Change when you write. You may be a creature of habit, always scheduling your writing sessions to be at the same time. (Usually a good idea). But if that’s not working for you, try a radical change. See if switching from your usual evening sessions to first thing in the morning does something to snap you out of your current state of mind.
  4. Concentrate more on other means of musical expression, such as performance or perhaps producing someone else’s music.
  5. Seek out songwriting partnerships. Partnerships allow you to develop a fresh approach to writing, and allows you to benefit from someone else’s strengths.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter

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