A creative block is something most artists experience many times during their careers. It’s a repeating state, common during our learning and growing process. Often we put a huge amount of tension upon our creative muscle, with the dread of not knowing what to do next. The moment you let doubt take over, creativity begins to fade away. If you’ve recognized yourself often in such a scenario, then your brain possibly needs some rewiring. Here are some useful tips that will help you overcome the creative block.
1. Fight The Laziness
You probably remember the stage when you started creating music. Somehow the process seemed a lot simpler, didn’t it? It wasn’t hard for you to sit down, it was fun! You didn’t care too much about the final outcome, and you didn’t have high expectations for it. However, as you learned more and progressed, things got harder and more complex.
Laziness is a very effective manipulator. It’s going to push your brain to explain why you’re not supposed to make music and tackle a process that can seem daunting. Sometimes the excuse can be, “Well, I have a creative block, so I just have to take a break.”
There is nothing wrong with taking breaks, but just make sure you really need one. The bottom line is, you’re supposed to keep on making music even when it’s hard.
2. Stop Comparing Too Much
You’re working on a project, it’s all going well, and you’re feeling good about it until you come across a problem. You feel there is one, but you’re just not sure what it is exactly. Maybe a drop, maybe the transition between drop and breakdown, or something else. Whatever it is, it’s troubling. You don’t know how to resolve it. You’re stuck.
Keep in mind that you and 99% of other producers are experiencing the same thing, so you’re definitely not alone. This could be an issue of having too much of a strict path and standard when making music. In other words, striving too hard emulate other artists whose tracks you love. By doing this, you might not be letting your own ideas roam free, but rather forcing the process to fit a certain framework.
3. Have Intention
A useful practice is to have an idea of how something should sound. For example, make a list of adjectives that describe the mood, vibe, or sound you want to achieve. If you imagined your vocals to sound smooth, electric guitar to sound lo-fi, the piano dark, or the bassline fat you should aim and stay focused on that kind of coloring and how to achieve it.
4. Don’t Be Shy To Ask For Feedback
If you’re stuck on a track, or part of an arrangement, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback. Make sure that you don’t actually request feedback to obtain acceptance or approval. As good as it feels, that won’t help you conquer the creative block. You should be prepared for discomfort if you ask for feedback. A critic, even a bad one, is something we many times need to improve and move forward.
5. Avoid Perfectionism
Without a doubt, perfectionism can be our arch-enemy. Perfectionism is the ubiquitous, invisible murderer of artistic development. The only way through the swamp of perfectionism is to keep your head down and finish songs. Do everything in your power to make that the number one priority of your artistic and production workflow. The quicker you can let go and trust your intuition, the easier you can hit new heights as an artist.