9 Ways To Over Come Writers Block
I know how hard it can be when your trying to write a song and all of sudden your mind goes empty. Completely blank – absolutely nothing…Don’t worry and do not get frustrated. Check out the following 9 ways to over come writers block and see if they can help you like so many who’ve had this problem.
1. Copy Something
From time to time take a few verses from a song that you enjoy hearing. Sit down with a notebook and copy them word for word. Then afterwards sit and listen to the verse while reading along You will find yourself suddenly aware of the choices the artist made. Focus own why he/she chose to say a particular line the way they did. Try to look at the work from the artist’s point of view. In time you will feel like an insider, and you will say, “I know why he chose this word; I know why he made two short sentences here instead of one long one.” You will become more intimate with the writer’s words and with words in general, and your own writing will be better for it.
2. Keep A Journal
There is no one right way to keep a journal. But if you have some sort of notebook or diary that you return to often with your written thoughts, opinions, observations, and various bits of wit, you will have a place in which to exercise your writing muscles. Keeping a journal is good because you can go back to things in the past and recapture that feeling…and if you can do that lyrically you’re a monster.
You will learn to describe succinctly and clearly the events of your daily life. You will learn to pluck from each event just the details needed to lyrically create a sense of whole. If you keep a journal, you will grow as a writer, and you will find that sooner or later, no matter what you have to write professionally, your personal experiences will play a part.
Keep in mind, however that a journal can be far more than just a diary. You can take notes from a conversation. You can take notes while you’re reading, or eating at a restaurant or watching TV. I knew a kid who would take notes at all the basketball games. He never played basketball a day in his life. But he took notes of some of the terms and incorporated them into his rhymes…and he actually did pretty good. He used words like foul, travel and fade away. He said something like: “They gotta foul me to stop me…game time, watch me..fade away on’m probly cant stop the manotny” So in my opinion keeping a journal is definitely a good thing.
3. Do Your Research
Another great thing to overcome writers block is to research your topic. For example if your writing a song about a girl who is a single mother-trying to go to school and take care of her baby at the same time. One thing you can do is ask a young single mother to tell you about her story and her struggles. I use this technique all the time..and its so simple because I get songs from people and most of the time they don’t even know they were the ones who gave me the idea of the song. If you don’t have someone who can tell you there story, then hop on the Internet and see what you can find. Its easy just Google your song topic and see how much information you can incorporate into your song. This little exercise works great for me and should do well if you utilize it correctly.
Tips to help you do your research:
- Create a list of questions about what ever it is your writing about and try to keep related questions together. Then go to many different sources to get the answers for each question.. Several answers to the same question can be compelling when they are similar and fascinating when they are not.
- Get as much info as possible. Way more than you’ll need is always a good rule of thumb. The great the information you have will make the words flow faster.
4. Get The Blood Pumping
Do a little warm-up exercise before you write. Push-up, run in place or stretch your arms etc. Whatever you need to do to get the blood pumping is a great. I had a friend who what go to the gym and workout before he’d go into the studio and record. The least you can do is take a few deep breaths before you sit down and write. Anytime you put your heart rate into second gear it supplies oxygen to your brain. All of this will improve the clarity of your thinking and the quality of your energy.
Another thing to keep in mind is to try not to write after you become fatigued. A tired writer is like a tired driver, it just doesn’t work. If your eyes begin to droop and your head wobbles, stand up and do some more exercises. That should definitely rejuvenate you. If it doesn’t then I think its time to put the pen down and take a nap.
5. Do Writing Exercises
Just as you should get your body warmed up to run, you need a little writing exercise before starting a writing project. A writing exercise can be just about anything that turns thoughts and feelings into words. Make a list of ten rhyming words. Describe the inside of an imaginary dope house or what ever you want. But whatever you do, do it in a non critical way. Turn off the editor in your head. The exercise is not supposed to be polished writing style any more than a warm-up run is suppose to set a world record.
6. Organize Your Material
It is such a thing as being overorganized. Some rappers organize their rhymes so thoroughly that the songs become to basic. Your verse, whatever its form, should contain enough slack for creativity and space for new thoughts on your subject. Organizing your material will help lock in the logic of what you are trying to say and it will speed of the writing process for you. How many times have you heard a song and felt like the first verse should be in the third and then this part would be better in the second verse? Well this comes from not organizing your material.
Organizing will help to create an overall unity in your song. There is no one right way to organize material. It all is going to come down to you as a writer and what you feel will work for you.
7. Make A Outline
In English class my teacher used to tell us how some writers would not start a chapter without constructing an outline that was longer than the chapter that they intended to write. He also talked of how other writers wouldn’t use a outline at all. I incorporated a lot of the stuff I learned from English class into my craft as a rapper. You can definitely use an outline when you are going to construct a song, and approach the same way as a writer does a book or magazine article.
For example, I usually come up with a hook first. And then I start the verse. So like the example above if we used a teen mother we could use Tupac song “Brenda’s Got A Baby” as great example. Each verse goes exactly with the chorus. He takes you from her having the baby to not wanting the baby and trying to do away with her child. A outline would be a great asset to a story like that, and then to make it into a song is just pure genius.
How long your outline is depends totally on you and what it is you are writing about. A outline is just a list of elements that you want to incorporate into your writing/song. Make a list of what you want your song to be about and see then try and turn it into a classic. Write some key words for the issues you want to cover, the facts you want to point to and the questions you want you or the listener to ask.
Remember to glance at the outline as you listen to the beat and as you are writing to be sure you are taking the song where you want it to be. So if you want to write about a hurtful relationship that you was in with a cheating boyfriend or girlfriend you could start a list like:
1.Cheated on me with a lame
2.Gave her all my time and money.
3.Don’t know if love even exists here
4.Didn’t like me being on the block-always up latenite thinking the worst
8. Picture A Listener
Do you know who your listener is? Who are you writing for? Is your song going to appeal to the young boy in the hood with no father or the young boy in the suburbs with his pops and moms around? Or are you going to try and connect with both? This is something to keep in mind before you write. Figure out who you are trying to reach.
A wise man once said “To write is not necessarily to communicate. Communication occurs in the mind of the listener, and if that listener is not familiar with your terms and your concepts you might as well be talking in gibberish.
When you write, don’t think about how smart you are, think about how smart your listener is. To do that you must visualize him or her. Imagine your listener or listeners in the room with you. What’s his attitude? How does your song or story connect with them? Write as if you were in a conversation with them and then listen to the dialogue that occurs. Sometimes I can listen to a conversation and incorporate the dialogue into a rhyme or a line. Is your listener going to say oh okay that makes since or will they say “I don’t understand that?”
9. Ask Yourself Why You Are Writing
Do not start writing your song until you know why you are writing. What are you trying to accomplish with your song? Check out 10 topics to write about. Do you want your listener to laugh, cry, give up, fight or what? Are you trying to give them advice or inform them that you can become anything you want? If you don’t know the reason why you are writing that particular song you can not wisely choose words, provide facts, include or exclude humor. You should know what job you want done before picking what tools to use. If you can’t come up with atleast one reason for writing that song….simply don’t write it.
Well I hope this article helps put you on your way to promoting you like YOU are suppose to. Until next time….Good Luck If you like this article please comment & Share.