by India McCarty
Nothing is more frustrating than being halfway through writing a song and suddenly, you just get stuck. Or maybe you can’t even get started at all! Writer’s block is no joke, so here are some ways to help get your brain in gear and back to writing!

• Start with a title. It may sound obvious, but sometimes it’s best to start at the beginning. If you can think up an interesting title, it might get your creative juices flowing and help you write the song itself. Try looking through books or magazines to find phrases that strike you!

• Revisit old ideas. Every songwriter has a notebook or computer file full of half-finished lyrics, basic melodies and phrases you’ve picked up that stuck in your brain. If you’re feeling stuck, it can help to go back to old ideas. You might finish that song you started writing last year, or inspiration might strike and lead you to write something completely new.

• Try another instrument. If you primarily write on guitar, try the piano, and vice versa. Borrow your friend’s bass guitar, or go over to their house and mess around on a drum kit. Working on unfamiliar ground can force your brain to come up with some outside-the-box ideas. You might end up with something completely different than anything you’ve ever written before!

• Change your point of view. Do you always write in first person? Try doing a song in third person. It can help you distance yourself from the story you’re telling, or maybe even push you to write something completely new. If you want to write a protest song or anthem, give second person a try. The “you/we/us” point of view feels inclusive and can help you hone in on the sentiment you’re trying to express.

• Bring someone else in. Co-writing with a good partner is a great experience. When you can’t come up with something, your partner can usually help you fill in the blanks. If you’re feeling blocked, see if any of your usual co-writers are available to help you clear out the cobwebs!

• Take a break. Don’t be afraid to put your pen down and go make a sandwich. You’re not giving up; sometimes you just need to go walk the dog or answer some emails. By shifting your focus, you don’t feel as pressured to come up with something, so the ideas start to flow a little easier.

Writer’s block happens to the best of us, so don’t let it get you down! Just take a deep breath, switch things up a little and you’ll be surprised at what you start coming up with!

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