Hit the Wall

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  • @larryw Feb 13

    Hi all, so who has hit the wall? I've written a song a day (well two on a couple of days) I try to write sensible lyrics with a story, but tonight I just sat down after a nightmare day at work, and there is nothing!! It is almost at the stage where this is getting boring now! I write because I love writing, but having a full time job and trying to do this, and live as well is not good.
    So how do you guys overcome this?
    Do you?
    What strategies do you have in place? (taking a few days off to do this isn't an option)
    Be great to read your views on this

  • @zecoop  Feb 13

    Yep... I felt like this last night. When it happens I usually pick up a different instrument to try to get the creative ideas started. I'd that doesn't work, I get a different one. Eventually something clicks. Some nights, though, it's best just to give it time and do something that isn't music related (like going to bed at a reasonable time, which doesn't happen much in February!)

  • @fuzzy  Feb 13

    Perhaps you should concentrate on listening and giving comments; I find that hearing other FAWMers' work gets me enthused and inspired.

  • @ballyhoot Feb 13

    My experience is probably different from yours because I don't write lyrics back to back. Each song I've done has been slightly different, inception-completion process wise, so that's helped keep everything fresh for me. I often take 2 or 3 days to work on a single song, but sometimes not necessarily exclusive. Last night, for example, I finally re-wrote the lyrics to one of my posted instrumentals (I decided I hated my first draft) and recorded the vocals; and then recorded vocals for another song that I had already recorded the music for and already had the lyrics written. So every day is a little bit different.

    Some possible ideas for keeping it fresh: Maybe try to start with music first and then challenge yourself to come up with lyrics to fit. Or come up with music but don't worry about writing lyrics at all. Or find music that someone else has done and write lyrics for it. Or find lyrics someone else has written and come up with music.

    Also, if you haven't participated in one of the many challenges on the forum, you might check them out. Like exquisite corpses, skirmishes, and other prompts. Other ideas could include changing up where and how you write or record. Or write something silly. Write a kid's song. Write a song from a goat's point of view. Record a song using only your kitchen sink.

    And if need be, take a break. Recharge. Come back with fresh energy and fresh ideas.

  • @alyxanderjames  Feb 13

    This definitely happens to me. One concept I've found really helpful in moments like that is the idea of creativity as a bucket - if all you're doing is pouring out of the bucket and never refilling it, eventually it'll run dry, even if it's a really big bucket. It's important to take time to recharge and look for inspiration. So taking a night off from writing to listen to music, or see a show, or look at art you find inspiring, or even going for a walk - it's not wasted time, it's time spent refilling your bucket so that you have something to draw from going forward.

  • @larryw Feb 13

    Thanks, some great ideas here - I'm strangely taken with writing from the goats perspective!!
    FWIW for the last 3 years, I've written a 32 line poem every day, about whatever comes to mind, be it me travelling somewhere, so I'm never short of ideas, I guess it is just short of that commodity called time!

    I do listen to a lot of music, recently though I've been listening to artists I would never have considered listening to, just to ring the changes.

  • @pearlmanhattan  Feb 13

    On the days when the music is stubborn - or real life gets in the way of getting to the music - I give it some space and some rest - Forcing the music never works for me - like the old saying of teaching a pig to dance, it frustrates me and annoys the pig. I leave the music be to work itself out and I do something productive and constructive to clear the block - some housework, a project I've been meaning to get to - and I just ignore the "compulsion" (in my case) to write or create. Sometimes, it's light exercise or yoga, sometimes it's mopping the floor or doing the dishes. I turn on the "autoplay next song" feature and let the FAWM songs play in the background. O essentially "put my muse in the corner" and refuse to entertain it until it can behave like a good muse and cooperate with me. Sometimes this works to break loose the block, sometimes it doesn't. On the days it doesn't, I I have the peace of knowing I've done other things that were productive and the day was not waste

  • @tcelliott  Feb 13

    For the last week, more or less. My advice, just keep writing. Also, take a break. Do other creative things. If you're warm enough, go for a walk. Play with pets. Go eat dinner with a friend you haven't seen in a while. But most importantly, keep writing.

  • @fecknom Feb 13

    I have also been trying to write a song a day, but have fallen behind. I decided that I was going to just write a new one this morning (which I did) and set aside the half-done ones from the last few days - I'll get to them when I can. I've also been writing them before work, which makes a process that usually for me sprawls to fill a 2-3 hour window cram down into about an hour. That's helping the most, I'd say, because when I get home from work, I can just focus on all the other general life demands.

  • @djevans53 Feb 13

    I keep a hook/title/concept list going and I add to it almost everyday. something cool someone said, a book title, a line in another song I really, really like, a line someone said in a movie or book, an advertisement in a magazine, TV, newspaper. People who write ads have to come up with catchy titles and slogans. Even old cliches can be twisted around John Lennon said "Time Wounds All Heals" in reference to the old saying Time heals all wounds. Therefore, I always have something to start writing. Days I can't really write I may just pick one of these and start brainstorming. Today I was reading on Pat Pattison's "Object Write" site where people pick a word and try to write about it and the word was RollerCoaster and I thought that was cool so I put it on my list thinking how would I write a song. Our Love is a RollerCoaster, etc. So I wrote down some thoughts about it and then I'll just let that percolate in my brain. Sometimes I'll start a song and get stuck and I'll go to

  • @djevans53 Feb 13

    sleep and when I wake up the words just start magically coming. This has happened more than once. It's as if I have given my brain a question or puzzle to work on and overnight it solves the problem really COOL. I always have several songs I'm working on so if you get stuck you can go to another one and see if you can finish that one. I also keep a folder of unfinished songs and sometimes I'll go back and try to finish one of those or use the best lines of them. Look at other people's songs especially one you like and find a really cool line and use that as a title. Write a follow up song to another one out there such as "May Baby Left Me Again", you could write "You Came Along at the Right Time". Anyway a few of the things that work for me.

  • @larryw Feb 13

    @djevans53 great stuff, I wrote a song with a line about riding backwards on a roller coaster!! It's on hold at Disney right now! I too have a myriad of unfinished songs, my idea for FAWM was to finish some of them!

  • @dasbinky  Feb 13

    @larryw One way to look at it: you've already "won" FAWM. Anything else is gravy. No problem with stepping back, admiring your bounty, taking a nap, and coming back to it in a few days. Or weeks.

    I get through FAWM by giving myself permission to not get through it. When I feel like it's something I have to do, it's much less interesting. I had a few years where it became all-encompassing for a month, and those weren't fun for me or anyone who knew me outside of the FAWMSpace. The last few have been at my own pace and on my own terms. Sometimes its ok to sit on the wall and look around rather than keep trying to ram into it.

  • @larryw Feb 13

    @dasbinky yes I hear you, although "won" isn't probably what I was trying to achieve! I think for me (and many others) having a full time job, which TBH has been a mare this week drained me more than I thought it would!

  • @spingo  Feb 14

    I cranked the first week and then had to take a long weekend off to let my brain cool off. Now I'm back on my, ah, usual thing, but in a more purposeful way.

  • @scottlake  Feb 14

    So far I have not had a shortage of lyrics ideas which I can work on pretty much anywhere. But musicifying those takes time and I have been valuing sleep more than recording. So that’s a bit of a wall.

  • @jacobeverettwallace  Feb 14

    Me. Face first after running full speed. The Day 10/or general halfway point is usually massive wall so I'm not surprised but it always sucks.

  • @timfatchen  Feb 14

    I'd normally hit a wall right now too, but I'm hugely conscious i only have 6 online days left, so that's pushing me on. But also, when I do collapse (which is almost daily) I go off and listen or read others, and that seems to recharge, or give new ideas, or prompts something to move.. Mind you, that can be disaster too because I'm now behind in collaborations! ("oo, that'd be good to do! ooo can I have a try with this one?" it's like a candy store and my eyes are too big for my digestive tract.)

  • @quintonbarnes  Feb 14

    I overshot my creativity the first week and now I am in sabbatical. Hoping I'll be able to get my ass in check by tomorrow so I can record a few tunes over the weekend

  • @siebass Feb 14

    Challenges always seem to work for me; give a set goal and a process to focus the mind. Skirmishes are always a fun way to do that too, as well as circumscribe the amount of time allowed to work on the pieces.

  • @timfatchen  Feb 14

    @quintonbarnes : that's a GOOD problem to ahve when somuch pours out. You're allowed to take breath!

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