For producers, the causes of writer’s block vary based on tasks carried out in the creative process. While some producers might struggle with sound design, others might hit a wall while writing melodies and chord progressions. Due to this, there is no blanket remedy to the issue. Overcoming writer’s block requires self-confidence, patience, and an open mind. As someone who’s won—and lost—many battles against writer’s block in the studio, I’m happy to share solutions that I’ve found to be the most effective in fighting this desolating condition.
Work Through It
Change Your Scenery
Changing your scenery could be implemented to different extremities. It could be as simple as cleaning, reorganizing, or updating your studio. A clean desk might represent a clean slate, or if you like it messy, make it messy in a different way. If you have a budget to work with, purchasing new gear, accessories, and software for your desk/computer is a great way to boost your motivation.
Despite a producer’s connection to their studio, laptops give us the ability to work from any location imaginable. A great way to spur new ideas is to work temporarily in a different environment. You might find that the visual aspect of working at a local cafe, pub, or park will help conduct a refreshed creative process. Some artists will travel to studios worldwide to create their work, constantly absorbing influence from a new environment. Whether you’re working from a different couch in your apartment, down the block at the park, or sitting on a boulder in the Himalayas, switching up your natural production habitat is an effective method of inducing new creative ideas.
Take a Break
Producers in a rut often misinterpret the concept of a break, resulting in more added stress to an artist’s productive dilemma. While some might benefit from a single day’s rest, more time is needed for most producers to feel the advantage of mental rest.
One of the benefits of taking extended breaks is giving yourself the ability to explore other hobbies and passions that might inspire your work. Taking breaks for exercise, cooking, sport, and indulging in supplementary creative activities is proven to optimize your workflow.
Don’t feel guilty for taking time off. Whether you need a few days, weeks, or even months to recuperate your creative energy, exploring your life outside of the DAW can be a consistent method to fighting your writer’s block.
Emulate Your Favorite Music
When you’re new to production, writer’s block is less of a factor as years of pent-up ideas fuel your passion in the studio. A new producer might not have such high expectations as a veteran, leaving little room for self-criticism. Sometimes, revisiting these emulative exercises could enable an easy workflow to refresh old creative energy.