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Writers Block
Old 22nd July 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Writers Block

What do you guys do when everything starts sounding like crap and every idea gets vetoed in your own mind? I usually can break through this stuff but the last 3 weeks have been murder.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
kennyd03's Avatar
 

Take a break and do something else except music for a while.

Like drinking beer...



-KD03
Old 22nd July 2005
  #3
Here for the gear
 
cuttooth21's Avatar
 

Listen to some other genre of music that you really never listen to. That always seems to spark new ideas for me.
Old 23rd July 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 

Avoid music, re-discover that life ain't all about it..

Take a seat outside, have zip of a 12year scotch/espresso/smoothie/younameit,
an intermediate SuDoku puzzle/good book/younameit..

In other words: take a mental and emotional vacation.


ruudman
Old 23rd July 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cultureofgreed
What do you guys do when everything starts sounding like crap and every idea gets vetoed in your own mind? I usually can break through this stuff but the last 3 weeks have been murder.

I get these all the time.

I think it's all about what is going on in your personal life, not related to music.

I would check into those.. and ease up in your other personal problems, it may be the girl who is giving you ****..or other stuff that's bringing this side of you down. The best songs I've done where in times I felt good about myself and motivated. think about that for a sec..
Old 23rd July 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Change your avatar maybe.


Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 23rd July 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
Change your avatar maybe.


Andi

www.doorknocker.ch

hahaha i was thinking the same thing.
Old 23rd July 2005
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Change it again?
Old 23rd July 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
just stop editing.

resolve that you'll be wirting crap, but that you're going to writie it and finish it ANYWAY, just to have something.

usually with the perspective of a few weeks or months later, it's NOT all crap.
Old 23rd July 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
just stop editing.

resolve that you'll be wirting crap, but that you're going to writie it and finish it ANYWAY, just to have something.

usually with the perspective of a few weeks or months later, it's NOT all crap.
I had a very wise teacher that said, you need to get the crap out to have room for the good stuff to flow.
Old 23rd July 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cultureofgreed
What do you guys do when everything starts sounding like crap and every idea gets vetoed in your own mind? I usually can break through this stuff but the last 3 weeks have been murder.
Every so often I do an excercise designed to break the concrete. I change every day-to-day thing I do, like, brush my teeth with my right hand (I'm left handed), eat right-handed, drive a different way home, sit at a different place at the table, wear some different clothes, change shampoo, everything you can change (without altering the course of your life - no starting to drink again, etc.).

You get into the habit of looking for new answers. Just a small crack in the concrete will spread.

After a while or so, your mindset opens up. Might take days or a week.

Best...H
Old 24th July 2005
  #12
Gear Addict
 
retropete's Avatar
 

I try to remember I'm in a process, not at a destination. Accept the process for what it is. Woody Allen said 90% of success is just showing up. And I just try to show up for the process.

Professionally, I'm an advertising writer, music is my avocation. And I'm always expected to be able to come up with something in my profession that makes people sit up and take notice. And most of the ideas I come up with are crap. And just when I feel like it's all over, I'm a has-been, I get that bolt of lightning. It's always after I go through all the ****ty ideas, the self-doubt, and then it comes out of the blue.

So judging from what you have said, if your process is anything like mine you're pretty close to getting to the other side.

P
Old 24th July 2005
  #13
jordan19
Guest
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
just stop editing.

resolve that you'll be wirting crap, but that you're going to writie it and finish it ANYWAY, just to have something.

usually with the perspective of a few weeks or months later, it's NOT all crap.
so true

i'm such a pathetic perfectionist in music that everything has to be just stunning for me to love it. in songwriting, if i come up with a great hook, i'll re-work that hook for hours and hours making SURE there isn't a better version of it i haven't discovered yet heh ...and it's that kind of gridlock that keeps me from getting ANYTHING done.

i can't avoid doing it, but i'm getting better at doing less of it. hopefully one day, i'll just play something, fall in love with it, and not start planting ideas in my head that there's something still better waiting to be discovered, (even though there is )
Old 24th July 2005
  #14
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i find it comes in cycles... although i do agree with logicheads statement FULLY. getting out of your circle you created helps emmensely. go find an adventure.

but i find creativity comes in spurts for me... and when its downtime for me now i just accept it and do something else entirely... which probably triggers it to come back, then i expend it and the cycle continues.
Old 6th August 2005
  #15
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wallace's Avatar
 

I would just keep writing or take a break if you don't feel like playing. I've been working hard at writing and it's pretty much been non-stop for the last few years(I've been playing for 15 years but really focusing on writing the last 2 or three).

Sometimes I don't feel inspired and I'll go back and work on something else (or watch tv but not often). That's usually when I need to let my body rest (because I don't sleep that much). But I don't like that feeling; I love the feeling of being totally wired from music. Like someone else said, it's like lightning. Another thing is that sometimes the third or 4th idea you come up with is the really potent one, so it's important to keep the juices flowing. I know some people really revise (look at Beethoven) but personally, I like to write everything and be done with it as soon as I can.

I think you have to understand your own writing style first, then you can really go at it. It's all about the energy and inspiration, so you have to finish it quickly when it hits. Sometimes that window only lasts 10 minutes. Record your initial inspiration and build thing from that.

I listen to really inpsiring music (to me) non-stop. I also like watching art videos and documentaries, or making lists of certain things I want to include in my music, like certain kinds of arragements, etc. Just keep making more work for yourself and look to the masters for inspiration.
Old 6th August 2005
  #16
Gear Nut
 

I had writers block for 8 years - which nearly destroyed me creatively and confidence wise. Still peiceing it back together. I took a slightly different road (always the hard one with me ) a very spiritual one. I realised all my best music was done when I was in a kind of trance almost like a meditation. So I approached it from that angle as if I were going to meditate. Through the 8 year I was still writting about 2/3 tracks a year. I recorded and kept them all. and slowley but surley came out of it. Now i'm really prolific writing about 5/6 tracks a year .

I guess what i'm saying is that everyone has different triggers that allow the 'magic' to happen it's just figuring out what they are and respecting them and music enough to allow the space to happen. It litterally becomes like a ritual. Wether it's running a bath or tidying the house or meditating, having a moment or two when your not engaging your brain to think and to let rest is wonderful because it allows the magic to speak and be heard. And enjoy it, if grinding away at nothing at it aint that good anyway , come back tommorrow. If your grinding away and it's handels messiah , hang in a bit longer thumbsup .

I always find reading philisophical based spritual books help me - wish I could say it was porn and be all rock and roll, but I look start lookin at titties then thats pretty much all I can see for the rest of the day

I was talking about similar things to a friend of mine the other day DD, and we talking about plateaus are like the end of levels on platforms games, the higher the level the bigger the demon the greater the reward. Music is like a wild horse, bucking and twisting, seeing wether your worthy enough to hang on reap the rewards.

Good luck man and let me know how you get on.

David.
Old 6th August 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 

When you can let music be of lesser importance, you can be better at it.
Old 8th August 2005
  #18
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wallace's Avatar
 

Inspiration, and songwriting, are a lot like dreaming: You don't really force it, it just comes. And it's like a dream because the emotions, subject matter, and everything else is already there. You don't have to "think" about it, it just comes. It's also like a dream though because sometimes inspiration is cloudy and you have to refine it.

That's cool that youre into meditation, warrior of flight. I do a lot of Falun Gong.

I like trying to bring metaphysical things into my music and I try to build lists of 'rules" that I'm making for myself. It's kind of like philopophy for me, but it's personal one if that makes sense. Actually the whole concept of music was concieved cosmically, at least the 12 tone scale. Pythagoras believed that everything was cosmically and mathmatically explained. That's when he realized that harmonius tones could be made by strings of whole numbered proportions (1:2, 2:3, etc). It's great!

Read some interviews with Keith Richards or any of the other artists who talk about the 'antena' philosophy to writing, and that songs are "floating around in space". It changed my perspcetive on creativity.

Sorry I wrote so much, but I like talking about this kind of stuff. Good luck with your writers block. Post some MP3s when you come up with something new.
Old 13th August 2005
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
cfjis's Avatar
 

That sucks, bro. I know the feeling and I hate it.

When I've got writer's block, I write about it... then, it seems to go away.


Also, if I'm not feeling particularly inspired, I'll just sit in front of the TV with guitar in hand, noodling... playing weird chord shapes and just making noise... usually, as I'm not paying much attention, new stuff emerges.

Anyway, hang in there... it will pass.

Cheers,
Charles
Old 13th August 2005
  #20
Lives for gear
 
scruffydog's Avatar
Writers block seems to effect everyone..A friend of mine who is with Windswept and has a pretty heavy commitment to meet each year is one of the most determined and diciplined people i have personally met.
At times when he is finding creating tough he does other jobs round the studio..works on sounds or samples up kits..beats and loops..or even just flips through sounds and makes sure he knows what he has got, makeing library notes and cue cards so that when he does hit a home run..he is hot to trot.
It is a lesson in dicipline when I see these pro producers and how they overcome the January blues and the inevitable feelings of..'can't do this for much longer'..
Old 13th August 2005
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cultureofgreed
What do you guys do when everything starts sounding like crap and every idea gets vetoed in your own mind? I usually can break through this stuff but the last 3 weeks have been murder.
Almost all of the above have some value. I think William stated it best.
But I have found if you at least finish it and THEN walk away for a period of time (and you'll know when that time is up) then come back with fresh ears.

What worked for me is ..............I used to play golf. Then I would listen to the radio (which I normally don't do) and switch stations (alot). Then go to the boob tube and just close your eyes and not watch what's on but just listen.
Believe it or not I had some great (IMO) ideas from TV Ads.
But that was before they all became loops

Then when and only when you feel you are ready go back and listen to everything you dumped out with some fresh ears and a clear head.
You just might find that changing a major to a minor chord was all it needed or a modulation up or down!!!

There is no sure fire cure of course so whatever works for you then use it!

Best of luck and please lets us know what worked for YOU!
Others may want to try it when this happens to them.

Peter Montessi
A Designs Audio
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