Songcraft: Want to Write? Stop Writing
“A writer writes,” as the old saying goes, but I’m here today to tell you to stop.
Odd thing to say, I know, since this is a songwriting blog -- but I mean it.
Go Do The Laundry
If you’re one of many disciplined writers who keeps to a daily schedule, great, hold to it. But if you find yourself hitting a wall, rather than trying to muscle through for schedule’s sake, forget it, go do the laundry.
Now you may ask, why the laundry? It kind of smells bad. Can I do my bills instead? The answer is no. Your bills will make you think too much. Never underestimate the head-cleansing power of performing mundane, household tasks such as doing the wash. After you’ve fluffed and folded, go back to the piano, see if that wall you hit earlier got whisked away in the spin cycle.
Go to Bed
Just as you should never underestimate the mind-clearing power of performing menial tasks, never dismiss the power of the nap.
When little kids get cranky, what do they do? They take a nap. When they wake, they’re usually refreshed, happy and raring to go knock down that table lamp. As adults we tend to devalue the concept of sleep. Next time your writing session comes to an impasse, stop and lie down for 15 minutes. Even if you’re too wired to drift off, closing your eyes and lying in silence for a few might just be enough to clear the cobwebs and get you back to knocking down that creative barricade (table lamp optional).
So, of course, I don’t really want you to stop writing; quite the opposite, actually. But I do hope you’ll incorporate the above rejuvenation techniques into your writing process and see if they help stop “the block." Hopefully they’ll make a positive difference in the quality of your output as well.
Do you have any hacks that help you push the creative reset button? Leave a comment.
Mark Bacino is a singer/songwriter based in New York City. When not crafting his own melodic brand of retro-pop, Mark can be found producing fellow artists or composing for television/advertising via his Queens English Recording Co. Mark also is the founder of intro.verse.chorus, a website for songwriters dedicated to the exploration of that wonderfully elusive activity known as songwriting. Visit Mark on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.