The art of songwriting is a noble one. The task of storytelling through music, whether fictional or inspired by events in one’s life, is challenging and rewarding. But all delusions of grandeur aside, songwriting can be a real pain, especially when deadlines, stress, and writer’s block come into the picture. Whether you are writing music by yourself for a project, collaborating with your bandmates for your next release, or composing for another artist or a soundtrack, writer’s block can, at best, slow you down and make you question your creative abilities and, at worst, make you wonder if you’ve reached your artistic peak and question your entire career. If you find yourself experiencing these negative doubts about your songwriting, here are four steps to consider while you try to escape writer’s block.
From her 1997 live album, right before she launches into “Tyrone”, Erykah speaks to my artistic heart. It took me a long time to admit that I am an artist. The word has a bit of stigma attached to it, usually that artists are needy, too sensitive, too fragile. But I believe we’re all artists in some capacity, and it’s important to embrace it. As Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) teaches, your artist is similar to your inner child — creative, unafraid, free, and incredibly passionate. It’s so important to nurture that part of you and be honest about your humanity. No one is made of steel.