We’ve all had one or two. Or maybe many.
With any creative endeavor, it seems to come with the territory. But sometimes we think we’re the only ones who have suffered from it or might be going through it. Truly, the worst thing about a dry spell is the nagging fear that you’re never going to get past it. You’ll never create again. It’s over.
Truth is, you will. Eventually. But it’s always hard when you’re going through it.
But from the onset to the out, this creative stuff isn’t owned by us. We just have to accept that fact and then allow for the creative process. It is non-manipulatable.
That said, we CAN tease and coax the muse. By aligning our intentions, routines and patterns, it can help break those occasional songwriting slumps. And again, if you’re going through this, don’t worry… you’re not the only one and it WILL get better.
Here are seven ways to tease the muse and break a songwriting dry spell.
1. Show up at the page.
Ever heard that before? Just make the commitment and take the time to sit down with pen and paper, computer, phone or whatever you use to write. Probably not what you want to hear when we’re feeling crappy. But even when you THINK you aren’t feeling it whatsoever, even if you COMMIT to writing just one line, even the smallest snippet counts. Somehow the act itself is the injector into the work itself. And writing just the smallest increments at a time make a huge difference over time. How many lines total in a pop song? Around 28- 32ish? And if you have a repeating line chorus, well even less. By writing just one line every day you could have yourself a whole new song in a month or less while you are fretting about the spell.
2. Get good rest.
Lack of sleep is a creativity killer. Writing (especially lyrics) is a very mentally engaging activity, so It’s important to get lots of zzz’s. I’m not a PHD but I feel the result of good rest on my work day. When I’m tired I’m just less productive. I also eat more and am less content.
3. Fill the well.
By “fill the well” I mean go out and do things that you love and absorb them CONSCIOUSLY. I often go and listen to music; it inspires me and relaxes me. Make a concerted effort to “unplug” from your devices. Creativity requires a lot of output of energy, so it’s important that we also take some back in without a bunch of distractions… So “filling the well”. And If listening to music isn’t your way to fill it, then try a visiting a museum or a zoo. Seriously – a zoo.
Check back next time for more ways to break the songwriting dry spell!