Posts Tagged ‘dry spell’

Make the most of the Muse

March 19, 2009

Don’t sweat the dry spells. We can’t be 100% creative all the time. I can go for weeks without a single new song idea and then I’ll get three in one day. Does that happen to you? Here’s what I do to capitalize on the phenomenon.

First of all, I make sure to capture every idea, no matter how lame it may seem. If I don’t capture it immediately, it’s likely to disappear back into the ether as fast as it came. This means carrying a notebook and pen everywhere, or better yet, carrying a mini recorder.

I capture the ideas that seem to pop into my head at random moments, when I’m not thinking about songwriting. It may be something I see on a billboard, read in a book or hear in a song. It’s often words out of my own mouth or a friend’s. This applies to lyrical as well as musical ideas.

Next I attempt to immediately develop it into more than just a raw idea. Perhaps I can use it as a song title or expand it into a story or concept. The goal is to make the most of whatever creative impulse I had while it’s still around: use the muse, before she moves on … strike while the iron is hot.

Unfortunately, great ideas rarely come at a convenient time. So develop them if you can, or save them for a later session. At the very least these gems will be there next time you’re stuck in a dry spell.

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Dry spells

October 30, 2008

Like most of us, I guess, I go through dry spells. During these times I like to say to myself “OK, it’s not working now, so I’m going to stop trying for awhile.” That alone can break spell. It the takes the ‘force’ out of it.

Another trick is to learn to play some new songs (other peoples’ songs). It’s fun and it keeps me doing something musical, even though I’m not writing. But the best part is, the process of figuring out the chords and voicings and learning the lyrics of other writers’ songs often wakes up my muse and the dry spell is over.