Saturday 21 January 2017

Writer’s Block

On occasions I have experienced "Writer's Block" - a heavy psychological state in which you’re completely out of ideas about what to write. It can occur in the middle of a story or piece of music and can last for days or even weeks! It's frustrating and horrible and can really get you down and undermine your confidence. It's even worse if you are an organic writer and tend to write very fast, with minimum editing, like me.

For me, the first time was after I had a brain operation. I couldn't compose music for ages and then one day, I was having breakfast and I heard a single flute melody swirling around inside my head! I ran to my studio and powered up logic and out came a piece of music I called 'Rise of the Butterflies', which later became the music to my Music Audio Story 'Chris the Caterpillar'! 

It all happened so quickly and at the time I didn't give it much thought. However later, when I listened back to it, I realised it wasn't about a butterfly, it was about me. I was rising up, out of the ashes of illness and transforming! After this, I realised I couldn't write songs anymore lol! Now I had found the music, I couldn't find the words! 

So I waited... and waited, and still no songs came to me! I only write songs when I am emotional about something or have something to say. Then one day, someone did wrong by me and BOOM... out came one of my solo acoustic songs 'What Goes Around'.  

Last year I was interrupted during the making of one of my Music Audio Stories and I completely lost the flow. The story sat, unfinished on my computer for months and every time I tried to finish it, I found I just couldn't! I had simply lost the idea. I left it feeling a bit defeated but still determined to finish it one way or another. One day, I loaded the arrangement and sat there looking at it. I jumped to the middle section (something I would normally NEVER do) and sure enough, slowly... very slowly... the notes started to come to mind.

My solution is a simple one, if you have deadlines that need to be met, try jumping to another point in the music or story and start working on that section. Try going to the end and working backwards, anything to get the creativity flowing.

If you're like me and prefer to write stories and music sequentially, from start to finish, it may feel uncomfortable leaping over to some faraway section, but if you force yourself to do this, there’s a strong chance that you’ll break through the barrier called "Writer's Block"
Relax and let things flow, everything will come when it's ready.


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