One of the hardest things as a composer is staring at an empty project in your DAW. Sometimes you may feel a total absence of inspiration, like you aren’t capable of writing anything whatsoever. Maybe you try to force yourself into writing something, but disliking the result so much you just delete everything and start over with a blank project again. Ever been there? Then you have experienced the infamous writer’s block.
Inspiration comes and goes, but sometimes as a freelancer, you cannot wait for inspiration to strike – you need to deliver. In this article I will give you a few tips on how to beat the writer’s block, and how to be able to come up with ideas out of thin air – even when you feel uninspired.
Start With A Title
«Living’ On A Prayer» and «Dead Or Alive» are both songs that were written based on a title, Bon Jovi admitted. If you have a strong and interesting title, the rest of the song may pretty much come by itself. That said, coming up with the phrase of the century might not be the easiest task. However, you can try to find inspiration in movies, games, books and so on. Maybe you find a name, word or phrase that evokes a picture in your mind, and maybe even start evoking some musical ideas. Maybe the phrase “Rise of the Guardians”, “Fall of Rome”, “Honor of the Waves” or “Mountains of the Moon” makes some cinematic images take shape in your head.
As soon as images starts to form in your mind, it’s suddenly much easier to start to imagine music that would go with it. I’ve been doing this a lot of times. The phrases I start with might or might not be the final song titles, as the piece tends to unfold and change while I am composing, and might therefore end up a whole other place than when I first started. However, the phrase I start out with always kick starts the creative process and gives me a spark, as well as a direction to follow in the beginning when trying to create a track.