Writer's block - what do you do?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tegnoto89, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. tegnoto89


    Dec 24, 2008
    Music writers - what do you personally do about writer's block? Any thoughts?
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I end up just waiting it out and spending the time enjoying other art, music, books, movies, or currently taking the dog snowshoeing.
  3. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    1.) Try to write something that is totally the opposite of what you need to do (or want to do).

    2.) Imitate something as close to perfect as you can. (this one is a favorite, cause I hate doing it and my brain starts coughing up other ideas...)

    3.) John Cage suggestion. Do something as boring as you possibly can. Then repeat it 4 times. If its still boring, repeat 8 times, then 16 then 32... in time it stops being boring. (and hopefully you're ready to move on to other things).

    4.) Imagine that (insert name of favorite composer) had to write a song that sounded like (insert name of song). What would they do? What would it sound like?

    5.) What would your music (assuming that you've come up with a little something already) sound like if it was a String Quartet? A percussion ensemble? Had to please the King of England (c. 1777)? Had to help sell a soft drink? Was going to be used to scare wayward children?

    6.) If you only had 4 notes to compose with, what would your song sound like?

    7.) What would (insert a song you know) sound like if fish sang it? Or dogs knew it, but couldn't sing it, could only talk about it with the vocabulary of a dog.

    The point being that we get in a block because we are stuck doing the same thing over and over.... or because we have so many options available to us that we are overwhelmed by the choices. Narrow the choices... find a new path... don't worry about the end result.
  4. Godbody


    May 27, 2008
    I drink. Then I inevitably wind up writing something and remember it the next day, and try to play it. But it always winds up sounding like pure crap, so I write another song that HAS to be decent to balance out what I think of as my music karma.
  5. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    find random text passages and make up a melody to sing them to. newspaper articles work well. once you find something you like , swap out real lyrics.

    Or do like Victor Borge did once, and Flip some sheet music upside down...
  6. baalroo


    Mar 24, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    great post BassChuck. I agree with the sentiment, writer's block usually occurs when we are TRYING to write something.

    Also, there's always mind altering substances.

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