What to do when Writer’s Block Hits… Hard


Sarah Spencer

Writer's block sucks. Here's what you can do to move past it. | SongFancy.com

Real talk: being a creative writery-type person is draining. You know it.

Some days, it’s like we have so many new ideas and songs pouring out of us like a faucet that it’s hard to even get them all down on paper. We love life and our songs are coming along great and nothing is better, right??

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the faucet slowly cranks closed. The flow has been turned off. The inspiration is gone. We have no desire to write because there are no more great ideas and we hate anything  we try to force out.

Writer’s block has reared it’s ugly cement head

In those creative downturns, it can be a massive exertion of energy even thinking about writing – about the thing that usually brings us so much joy, but what is currently bringing us so much soul-ache. It can physically hurt. Makes you wanna crawl under the covers with your iphone and forget anything outside your little blanket fort exists.

This is the dreaded writer’s block. The plague of the creative mind.

Guys, I’ve got good news and bad news.

The bad news is, it doesn’t ever go away.

No matter who you are, no matter how many songs you write, no matter how successful your music ever becomes, writer’s block will continue to haunt you. It will show up when you’re on a roll. It will pop up out of the blue in the middle of a verse. It’s a fact of life for us creatives – sometimes, the juices stop flowing.

And believe me, this happens to everyone in all walks of life. Professional writers deal with it just like beginning writers. Writer’s block does not discriminate.

But the good news is, it will eventually go away if you work through it.

Just like most things in life, practice makes perfect. Time spent mastering a skill will only make you better at it with each passing day. The same thing goes with fighting writer’s block – it will go away eventually, and much more quickly if you work through it. Letting the block stagnate and keep you from writing is just letting the dang thing win. We can’t let it win! #makesongwritinggreatagain

Here are some tricks you can employ to power through your writer’s block when you feel it creeping up behind you:

1. Write through it, even if it feels wrong.

Write through it, babes. It will feel super weird, but write through that shit.

Right now, you’re not really feeling up to writing. You hate everything you make. It’s icky and you feel like you’re just getting worse and worse, but trust me, you’re not. You’re keeping your machine oiled. You’re maintaining your songwriting muscles. If you sit and let the writer’s block atrophy your skills, you’ll have to work much much harder to get them back again. By writing something, anything, even if it sucks, you’re setting things in motion. Persevere!

2. Write through it, even if it sucks.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, writing bad songs is not a crime. It happens to everyone. And right now, when you’re feeling your least creative, bad songs are going to happen. It’s ok, let it happen. You need to write through the bad stuff in order to make way for the good stuff. Go ahead, get any crappy ideas out of your head so the killer new ideas have room to pop up.

3. Write through it, before it can steal your happiness.

The absolute worst thing about writers block is not that it takes away your inspiration – it takes away your time. Your life. Days. Weeks. Months. Even years. That ain’t right!

Y’all, I’ve literally spoken to people who have said they have had writer’s block for many years and haven’t written a song since ninteen-ninety-whatever, back when they were in a band or playing out more or doing something that they loved. They were passionate about it back then and wish they could just muster up the drive to try it agin. But they fear that their time has come and gone, so they don’t even try picking it back up again. What the what?!

It is absolutely heartbreaking to hear from people who used to do something they loved, then stopped because of something as inane as writer’s block. Giving in to this condition is a surefire way to lose years of your life, and ultimately your happiness. Never stop chasing your happiness. If writing songs brings you joy and you can’t imagine a day where you’d ever really truly stop writing, then don’t stop writing. You cannot let writer’s block dictate your life.

You are better than the block

You really are. Don’t forget it. Writer’s block is definitely a thing, but it’s a thing that can be dealt with by perseverance, writing in spite of it, and continuing to flex your songwriting muscles.

If you’re stuck in a rut, I challenge you to go write a new song today. A completed piece. Just push it out. Don’t overthink or take too long to write it. It doesn’t have to be good. You don’t have to share it with anyone. All you have to do is get writing again. If you’re feeling discouraged, leave a comment here! I would love to talk to you about chasing down your inspiration.

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Sarah Spencer

Sarah Spencer is an award winning singer/songwriter based in Nashville, TN.

Born in the Sunshine State, Sarah Spencer writes vibrant, shining americana/pop music. She works in Nashville TN as a singer/songwriter, as well as a UX designer for a marketing firm.

Follow Sarah on Spotify to get her latest releases.

You can jump on her email list at SarahSpencer.com or purchase her debut EP, "Freshman Year" on iTunes.