Lower the bar. American poet William Stafford gives this advice to writers who suffer from Writer’s Block: “There is no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.” Now this sounds really bad at first but it’s very true. Writer’s block is really that inner critic that says to us “This is junk” “I can’t write today, I’m not inspired” or “Nothing I write is interesting today”. When we set the bar too high it is impossible to be creative. We must learn to turn off that inner critic and give ourselves room to explore.
Keep your antenna up. Even if you can’t sit down every day to write, you can always be on the look-out for ideas. Carry around a small pocket-sized notebook or PDA device, or most commonly, your handphone, that you can jot down bits of conversation you hear that might be developed into a song. Write down that line from a movie you are watching, or that book you’re reading. By always collecting ideas you keep your mind in a writing groove and will have lots of ideas to pull from when you do sit down to write.
Physical activity. This is so important! If you get stuck on a line or melody, take a break and go for a walk around the block. (Pun intended!) It has been proven in many studies that the human mind not only works better while our bodies are moving, but we learn and retain knowledge better as well. I’ve known many writers that pace the floor while they write. The point is if we sit too long, we won’t be creative.
Skip around. Another trick I use to avoid writer’s block is to skip around to different sections of a song. Ever find yourself writing a verse to a song and getting stuck on that one line? Try skipping ahead and writing the chorus first and then come back to that line that gave you fits in the 1st verse. There are no rules for what order things have to be written. By writing another part of the song you give your subconscious a chance to work on the problem area while you work on another part of the song.