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Category: Songwriters Block

Songwriters Block – Creative Tricks To Beat the Blank Page

I find inspiration in people who are doing right now what I intend to be doing in the future. One such person who greatly inspires me for that very reason is Joyce Kettering.

She writes music to be licensed for media projects… Film, TV, games, any project that requires music. From what I can see, she doesn’t play live and she makes a good living from her music.

She runs two websites. The first being MadLass Music, her “label” as such where clients can go onto her site and license her music direct from her.

The second site is her songwriting and music licensing tips blog Creative And Productive which is fast becoming my new favourite site. online.

Joyce Kettering knows what she talking about, she walks the walk and talks the talk and when I came across her post titled Songwriters Block – Creative Tricks To Beat the Blank Page I immediately started to read it.

In the article Joyce outlines five creative “tricks” that work for her but what impressed me the most was the detail she put into describing how and why they work.

Under every trick she explains…

  • What it is
  • When you should try it
  • Why does it work

Setting it up this way made it so much easier to internalise the information at hand.

In describing Songwriters Block, Joyce says…

…songwriters block sucks. Being stuck in a rut sucks. It’s bad for the ego, bad for your confidence, bad for the enjoyment of life in general.

Couldn’t agree more. Check out Joyce’s article and if you have any thoughts regarding the article, let me know.

Original Link: Songwriters Block – Creative Tricks To Beat the Blank Page

The Illusion Of Songwriting Perfection

Recently, I was chatting to a songwriter friend of mine about the pain he experiences while writing songs.

He said that he’s great at starting songs but lousy at finishing them (well, aren’t we all).

He also told me the main philosophy for his songwriting process is, “if the song is not perfect then the song isn’t worth finishing.”

WTF! No wonder he’s experiencing the pain of songwriters block.

I think that the concept of “if the song is not perfect then the song isn’t worth finishing” is something that’s more common among songwriters than we care to admit.

So, allow me to be a little blunt here. This struggle for songwriting perfection kills people.

It kills their creativity, kills their inspiration and sometimes (in extreme circumstances) the drive to perfection can kill a person physically.

There is a huge difference between being driven to write great songs and being driven to write perfect songs.

In my reply to his statement I said “…why don’t you try not to see songwriting as a means to an end (the hit song) but as a way of letting yourself go?”

As songwriters, how much pressure do we put yourselves under? A lot!

Is it worth it? NO!

The notion of songwriting perfection in anything is but a mere illusion. It’s created by the ego and massaged into existence by insecurity, jealousy, doubt, low self esteem and shame.

Songwriting should be a celebration of life, of letting yourself go, setting yourself free and playing around with your creativity. It’s not about reminding yourself how inadequate you are because you compare yourself needlessly to other songwriters.

Always remember that there’s not another one of you on this planet so therefore your experiences, your thoughts, your insights, your feelings, your dreams, your desires, your observations and the way that you question life, universe and everything around it are uniquely yours, and yours alone.

What does that mean? It means that…

1. There is no point in comparing yourself to others as there is no one else but you to compare yourself to in the first place

2. Being the unique creature that you are whatever you say is always very, very important.

The concept of perfection would only exist if there was something perfect to aspire to in the first place.

Now granted, there have been some amazing songs written in the past and there will be amazing songs that have not yet been written in the future, but none of those songs are “perfect” and they never, ever will be.

We, like our songwriting, are all works in progress.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

Songwriters Block – 11 Tips On How To Get You Unstuck

Songwriters Block… Every songwriter gets it at least once in their career.

It’s easy to find yourself in the midst of it and very difficult to get yourself out of the grips of it however, freedom from it can be achieved.

Songwriter, producer and keyboard player Michael Gallant through his article “Songwriting and Writer’s Block: 11 tips to help the songwriter get unstuck” seems to think so.

About songwriters block Michael writes…

“Creating a memorable song is rarely as easy as just humming a pretty melody and writing down some lyrics, though. And just like writers of prose or non-fiction, even the most successful songwriters hit creative walls.”

In his article Michael lists 11 tips that he’s collected through his own experiences and from a range of experienced songwriters that will help songwriters overcome their creative block.

They are:

1. Start with a title
2. Look and listen everywhere
3. Carry a notebook, voice recorder, or both
4. Keep unfinished ideas
5. Write a lot
6. Identify your own clichés
7. Keep your inner critic at bay
8. Ask for help
9. Write on a secondary instrument
10. Take a break
11. Use your favourite artists for inspiration

Of course the full descriptions and definitions of these tips are spelt out in Michael’s article however, my favourite tip is number four “Keep unfinished ideas.”

Doing this one thing has been the cornerstone of my own songwriting process and it’s something that I feel very passionate about.

Have a read of the full article here and while you’re doing that, have a think about your own songwriting process and the ways that you can improve it. If you have anything to share please feel free to let me know.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting