Guitar in a nature setting

5 Ways to Know It’s Time For a Songwriting Break

Songwriting is supposed to offer you some level of enjoyment and even fun. As we all know, it’s not always like that. Some days you feel the frustration more than you feel the enjoyment.

I’m a big fan of breaks. Taking a break has an almost immediate way of reducing frustration and allowing your creative mind to rest. But is it time for you to take a few days off, or should you be pushing through what might simply be a temporary creative block?


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Here are five ways to know that it’s time for a songwriting break:

  1. You feel frustrated even at the notion of sitting down to write. Even before you pick up your guitar and pencil, you’re feeling a sense of dread.
  2. Your creative mind seems devoid of ideas. You’re struggling to even know what to do about your next song.
  3. You find yourself more concerned about other life concerns than about writing. If you find yourself immersed in fears of how to pay next month’s rent, it’s hard to feel creative.
  4. You feel that your most recent songwriting efforts have been letting you down. So even before writing, you think that what you’re about to write is going to be lousy.
  5. You haven’t taken a break recently. The human mind is creative by nature, but every person has their limit. If you’ve been on a songwriting tear, take some time out before you feel the frustration of writer’s block setting in.

One of the best ways to avoid the negative effects of not having taken a break is to schedule your songwriting breaks as a regular occurrence in your daily life. Don’t wait until you finally blurt out, “I NEED A BREAK!

I think committing to writing daily is a good thing for songwriters to do, but in my mind, “daily” means five out of seven days a week. By giving yourself a couple of days off every week, you’ve given your creative brain a chance to rest and “decompress,” and that’s always good.

If you’ve got an upcoming album, performance, or some other activity that makes taking a break hard to do, try writing several songs at the same time. This can allow you to switch concentration from one song to another, and even though you’re still in a constant state of songwriting, you’ve at least got the opportunity to change your focus, and that can sometimes be as good as a break.


Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter.

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