You're trying to put together a new album, or haven't written any music in a while, but every time you sit down to write, the same thing happens. Either nothing comes to you, or you feel like everything you come up with is so stale and predictable you can't stand it.
Don't you hate when THAT happens?
1. It's not you, it's, well...
Listen, this is something every songwriter and composer has struggled with, so first of all give yourself a break. This is one of the things you are just going to have to deal with from time to time. It actually means you are a little more advanced than you ever have been. The fact that you are unwilling to put out ideas that you feel like you've heard before means you are at a level where just anything won't do. This is a good thing.
2. Try to not be...you.
If you are like me, you have go-to chords, instruments, or sounds you use to write with. If you are having trouble writing, abandon those. Fight the urge to do what you always do and pull out some other tools, instruments or sounds. If you're a guitar or piano player and usually write at that instrument, write the words down and write music to them without playing anything. This is actually better for melody writing as it forces you to write a melody that is not informed or influenced by the chords your hands are playing.
Try writing in a different genre than you are used to. If you usually write worship, try a rock song, If you usually write contemporary, try something more traditional in nature.
“Breaking through writer's block is like thinking out of the box: Both require an ability to imagine a world outside your four walls or rearranging them to get a better view.” ― Susan J. McIntire
Break out of your box by burning the box! Don't allow yourself to come back to your normal stuff until you have done something different. Play in a new key. Write about different subject matter. There are a lot of ways you can write other than the way you usually have.
3. Do something else.
This sounds extreme, but maybe this is a time for you to do something else in your music ministry. Maybe you're blocked because you haven't finished recording or marketing the songs you have now. I currently have personal projects backed up and think some of my reluctance to write is my brain MAKING me get these other projects up and out before it lets me create new things.
Take this time that you aren't writing and put your focus on the other creative and business things you need to get out of the way. When the logjam is clear, the ideas will flow once again.
4. Just Start Writing
“Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
There are many times I don’t feel like writing, but know I have to (for a client for instance). Sometimes just making a conscious effort to sit down and write actually starts me writing. I have to make time for it, and not just walking by the piano and throwing my hands down (although, this is in fact another of my favorite methods ;)
Above all don’t panic, don’t fret, and don’t assume it’s all over and you will never write anything ever again (although it feels like it!)
“Writer’s block is my unconscious mind telling me that something I’ve just written is either unbelievable or unimportant to me, and I solve it by going back and reinventing some part of what I’ve already written so that when I write it again, it is believable and interesting to me. Then I can go on.” ― Orson Scott Card
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is right there with you, and deals with writer’s block all the time. There are times he thinks he’ll never write again, and then a big bunch come. Be patient. If we can help you with your songwriting or any music needs, check out http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com