No matter how great the writer, we’re all bound to get stuck on a song at some point.
It doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s par for the course. If you’re writing a song and you get stuck – hey, that means you’re writing!
The trick, though, is to learn how to un-stick yourself. That takes practice. Here are 5 ways to un-stick yourself from that hurdle in your song:
1. Get up and walk away
Go do something else for 5, 10, even 30 minutes. Fix yourself another cup of coffee. Step outside for some vitamin D on your skin. Make a snack. Go say hey to your husband or your poodle. I had a songwriter friend once invite me to go shoot some hoops when we were stuck in the middle of a cowrite. Just get yourself out of your writing room, and put your mind on something else for a short period. It will refresh your mind when you go back to work on the song.
2. Take a shower
Creatives across all disciplines always find inspiration in the shower. It’s because when you’re in the shower, all your walls are down. You are relaxed. The water is nice, your shampoo smells amazing. It’s the time of day when you let your guard down and allow yourself a moment to just be. When we are relaxed, sometimes, that’s when ideas will seep in.
3. Push through it
Force yourself to get something down. Go ahead, just do it. Get it out. Even if you think it’s really, really terrible. One of two things will happen: you’ll come back to it later and re-write it, and it will be amazing. Or you’ll come back to it later to re-write and it won’t be as bad as you thought. Either way, making yourself put something down on paper will move you through the song and closer to completion. There’s always re-writes!
4. Copy and paste to move forward
Stuck on your second verse? It happens all the time. Here’s a super cheap trick: copy and paste your first verse where your second verse should be. Bam. (You’re not really going to just copy and paste and call the song done, don’t worry) This will allow you to keep moving forward. You have a “placeholder” in your 2nd verse slot. What next? Already know what you want to say in the bridge? Move on to that. When you’ve got the finished structure outlined, come back to that second verse and write it for real.
5. Work on a different song
When all else fails, pull out and pick up another tune. The change of pace will get you back into the swing of things. Put down your unfinished song and come back to it tomorrow, full intentioned.
Want even more ways to finish those songs you’re stuck on?
Come to the workshop, “How To Finish That Song Today (With me!)”
Come to the workshop! I’ll give you my best 10 tips for finishing your incomplete songs. Plus, we’ll finish a song live in the workshop! Sign up using the form to the left to reserve your seat.