I came across an article the other day where the author insisted that writer’s block really didn’t exist. My guess is that he was trying to draw attention to his blog by coming up with something that might be, in the songwriter’s world, considered “controversial”. Like a sucker, I was drawn in and I protested his claims, and therefore I guess I did exactly what he wanted. I engaged.
There’s more advice on songwriting on the web these days than there ever has been. If nothing else, MY only piece of advice to you is to consider who is writing this stuff before using it. Or believing it.
Writer’s block exists. I know, because I have it. In a bad way.
I have been writing songs since I was 12 years old. I’m not saying I wrote every day, or that I have a thousand songs to my credit. But I was consistently inspired and if not coming up with something new, always working on something unfinished. A couple of years ago, I finished my last song, and that was a laborious task because I had been working on it for some time. My excuse might be that I have had a lot of personal things to overcome, one being the death of my father last December after a long battle with Alzheimers. It wasn’t fun and it shook me to the core. I kept telling myself that eventually this would give me fodder for more songs, but so far it really hasn’t.
I was, however, inspired recently when I read an excerpt from an interview with Sting, who had a very long dry period until he went back to the town he grew up in, and found that writing in someone else’s voice was his cure. He wrote from the perspective of the people who lived in his home town, past and present. I think that’s a good idea. Not just the idea of going back to your home town, but trying to write in someone else’s voice. I’ve rarely, if ever, done that. So I’m going to try.
I have written several articles on finding inspiration but when I wrote them I was having no trouble myself. I had a muse or two back then, but they have long gone. For awhile I told myself that maybe I just wasn’t going to write any more, and I haven’t pushed it. But since reading that little snippet by Sting, I have found the odd line or phrase or verse coming out. My intention is to continue to explore that.
I’ll let you know how I’m progressing.
No such thing as writer’s block? Yeah, sure.