Everyone gets into a slump sometime. You don’t feel like getting out of bed. You eat like crap and put on weight.
Trying to write a great song seems like trying to climb Mount Everest — although you’re not athletic enough to ever consider doing that anyway, and you hated the day you made a pathetic attempt to climb the rock wall at the gym …
When you’re in a rut, you’re out of focus, the Creativity Gods are staying clear and hoarding their magic power, nothing makes sense and taking all the drugs in the world would only make matters worse. You need something to motivate you, to get you going again.
A small spark of creativity can change your perspective and get you back in the swing of things — whether you’re trying to compose a new song, write some fresh lyrics or figure out your band’s next move.
Here are some things musicians can do to get inspired:
- Jot down on your phone or in a notepad random things that get your attention.
- Pick a moment in time when something in your life shifted and write about it.
- Experience other kinds of art: read poetry, look at visual art such as paintings and sculpture, check out a comedy club, go to a dance performance, see a film, etc.
- Go for a walk somewhere you’ve never been.
- Go on a road trip.
- Try a new activity: use a new app to exercise your brain, go to a paintball range, ride horses, try fencing or another sport.
- Learn a new language.
- Study another culture.
- Listen to Ted Talks on “the creative spark.”
- Watch videos on the creative spark.
- Review songs/lyrics you like and figure out why you like them.
- Listen to music that’s not in your genre.
- Get out and support other local bands by seeing live shows.
Basically, get out and explore the world around you, and creative ideas will come.
Tamara Halbritter is a San Francisco Bay Area freelance writer and editor who develops content for music, transportation and green industries.