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There are days when coming up with good songwriting ideas just seems impossible. You shouldn’t let that overly discourage you, though. Creativity is a complex state of mind, and you shouldn’t be at all surprised when on some days it just seems like nothing is working.
On those days, I’ve found it useful to switch focus: instead of writing, I might decide that it’s a better day to listen to music, to play my trumpet, to read… to do the other things that are part of my development as a (hopefully) all-round musician.
But there are days when I — for lack of a better word — force myself to write anyway. That’s because I believe that creativity has a kind of momentum associated with it. On the days when nothing is working, it may simply be that you haven’t given yourself enough time to get all the moving parts of your creative brain working together.
The Importance of a Warm-up
We seem to acknowledge that other activities we engage in need a warm-up period. Running, singing, playing an instrument… these are all things for which we need to do a careful warm-up, not just to get the muscles moving, but to focus our minds as well.
Songwriting is no different. We usually need time to pull ideas from our imagination and start to feel creative. During that time of warming up your creative brain, don’t be surprised if everything you write sounds a bit forced, weak or lame.
But you’ll notice that within minutes the ideas you get start to make you feel inspired, and your ideas then start to become better.
On days when nothing seems to be working very well, write anyway. It’ll sound like garbage at first, but then little by little your editing powers kick in, and you’ll find yourself able to find the gold within those forced ideas.
And you’ll notice that later in that same session that ideas are easier to create and the session becomes fun.
So the next time you feel writer’s block trying to grab hold, look it in the eye and write anyway!
“Chord Progression Formulas” shows you how you can create dozens of progressions in moments, by using some easy tried & true formulas. Great for the chords-first songwriter.