How To Fight Creative Blocks
Fighting Creative Blocks
This article is for people who feel they are in a rut and need guidance on where to go when the muse within you feels as dry as a desert. Perhaps this is the retreat you need in order to find something to spark a flame in you. So, I’m not gonna waste your time and I’m gonna jump right into it:
Taking Care Of Your Body
This goes without saying, but we as creatives tend to spend a lot of time indoors away from the sun and not getting much exercise. Therefore, let this be a reminder to get up, walk, drink some water and get proper sleep. We aren’t machines and we will begin to grow tired, depressed, and lack that zest of life that is in our hearts to create. If you are only getting 3-4 hours of sleep a day and wonder why you can’t finish a track, well, there you go.
You need to understand your workflow when it comes to the DAW’s you are in. This means you need to have presets created for your mixing, mastering, favorite instruments, eq settings, project files, and so on. The reason I say this is because the number one killer of drive and inspiration is the fact you have to set-up all this technical crap ahead of time in order for it to sound listenable to you.
I cannot tell you how many times I got hype in the past to make song, only to lose steam in the tedious crap of getting everything set-up. So, take a few hours to really comprehend what song structures you use the most so you don’t have to think about how to re-invent the wheel, know your go-to presets/vsts and have them pre-loaded in your project files and
Work In Bursts
Time yourself and just focus on one task at a time. For instance, if you haven’t started the song yet, then spend 15-30 minutes setting-up some chords and a bass-line to go with it. In that time, you can play around with how the notes sound, toy with presets to play around with different piano/pads and then keep going if you don’t feel tired. If you do feel tired, then just rest for 5-10 minutes and then pick it up again in another burst.
Analyze Songs That Inspire You
I wrote a whole article on this alone here: https://frostfm.net/study-your-favorite-songs/
However, to summarize, by studying the songs you take pleasure in, you can use them as a reference to piece together a song that you yourself take pleasure and enjoyment in. Anaylze the mixing, the instruments used, percussion, melodies, chords; everything that makes the song the way it is can be seen as data. And that data is a tool that your brain can break down, de-code, and turn into tools to make the song in your head become a reality. It is a powerful thing to not just create music, but actively sit back and lose yourself in the music of others so you know how to cultivate your own flame. Creation is as much as it is creating as it is consuming. Don’t forget that.
Sometimes watching a good anime or playing a game can get you psyched up to create something. Since sometimes I like to create fight themes, if I see a certain fight scene in an anime or game, I might get inspired to create and roll with that energy even despite the fact there have been times I just lacked the inspiration to create. The brain needs a break at times and I personally find media to be a great escape for that.
Try New Genres
If you find yourself bored, just try a new genre of music. The challenge of learning something new will cause your brain to see the novelty in your music creation, produce a rush for you and you’ll be spending your days researching, looking at tutorial videos, experimenting, and feeling like a child because you are exploring something new and humans need variety when our routine becomes mundane. The same applies to our music and you never know what you can learn from a new genre of music that you can import into your primary genre. As while my main genre isn’t lofi, I took my rock/electronic stuff into it and found a distortion trick that made it pop. So just find little stuff like that to intermix once you have a basic understanding of how the genre works and it’ll be enough sometimes to break the routine.
What Is Your Core Reason For Making Music
My Full Article On Finding Your Core Reason can be found here: https://frostfm.net/finding-core-motivation-produce-music/
If you are really struggling, you might need to just meditate, sit with yourself and ask yourself what was the reason for you pursuing music and where do you want to go. What is your reason for creation? Give this a read as well if you are struggling.
Collaborating With Others
Sometimes collaborating with others can pull you out a rut. I say this because you have to sync yourself with another person and you pick up on things they do to produce their songs. So you can learn new information which can alter your own style if you take the time to study the person. You’ll even end up sharing secrets, instrument tricks, ways to create melodies and stuff like that. That’s why I ultimately listed this as I myself have gotten out of ruts with the information I had acquired from others working directly with me.
Hell, even just posting your music in supportive discord groups/Reddit communities or whatever can be considered a collab in my book as you are getting feedback from a community of producers/musicians that want to see people develop and grow into better creators. So don’t discount the knowledge/experiences of other people. You never know what nugget of information even someone further behind than you might have.
Sometimes, you just need to take a break. It’s hard to create if your life is in total disarray, so fix things that are stressing you out, improve your money situation, face any health problems you have and give yourself a few weeks to a month off if need-be. When I take my breaks, I usually only do them for a few weeks and that’s usually enough time for me to get into other hobbies, stimulate my creativity and come back with a fresh mindset in order to deal with the hardships that come with molding your craft into something great.
Mindset To Deal With Temporary Pain
Ultimately, there are going to be times where you don’t feel like creating at all. And for me, I equate those to days I don’t feel like working out/running. I’m going to feel like crap the first mile or so and I’m gonna want to quit, but once I break through the initial funk, I begin to enjoy it, find my flow and I’m grateful I finished it. The same applies to music in the sense that if you are spending a prolonged amount of time dreading it, sometimes you just have to face it head first and get through the suck so you can find what made you want to create and be happy.
So I don’t say this in the sense of just working until you are a mindless zombie, but sometimes you have to accept the hardships that come into growing a skill and taking care of as good things in life don’t come without a struggle. Listen to your body and know when you need rest, but also know when you just need to nut up and fight it.