Lower your standards

Sometime when you’re really stuck, try lowering your standards. I don’t mean compromising your art. I mean, for a brief period (however long it takes you to get unstuck), cut yourself some slack. We can be our own worst enemies. We sometimes set impossible standards and then punish ourselves when we don’t meet them.

If you idolize an artist, say Stevie Wonder, and you want to write music at that level, that’s a great goal. It can work to motivate you. If applied too harshly though, the goal can also be a constant reminder that you are unworthy.

So lower your standards. Just as an exercise, emulate some other artist that might be a little closer to your current abilities.

If you’re really stuck, take a song from this artist and write a completely new set of lyrics. If the lyrics turn out great, you can then write new chords and a new melody, based on your lyrics, which gives you an entirely original piece.

Lower your songwriting standards temporarily and see where it takes you.

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