Clutching At Straws – A Curious Case Of Writer’s Block


Over the past month or so, I have used this blog as an outlet to express my views on creating music and it has been quite an interesting ride. On one hand, I have been forced to look at my musical journey from an objective perspective, which has been confronting at times. On the flip side, I have had a blast writing these posts on a weekly basis and have seriously considered increasing my output. Those of you that have followed this blog since its resurgence will know that I was initially posting twice a week, but that has since reduced to a solitary post each week. The reason behind reducing the frequency was initially because time was not my best friend. Things have slowed down recently, though, and I have found myself with more time on my hands as the few projects we were working on have hit autopilot. I told myself that once I have a little more time on my hands I would increase the number of weekly posts, and yet here I am floundering to get this week’s post sorted in time. The problem? Well I have encountered every writer’s nightmare, a lack of ideas. Writer’s Block!

The Greatest Curse – Musically Speaking

Today as I sat in front of my blank computer screen, pondering what I will write about this week, I found myself getting restless. Normally, I have numerous topics to discuss before I even sit down to start writing. By the time I do get into the writing process, I have several fully developed topics to get into, allowing me to focus on articulating these thoughts as best as I can. Today was different though. I sat down and stared at my laptop for what felt like an eternity, and nothing came. As I was getting ready to give up, and possibly miss out on this week’s post it occurred to me that I have dealt with this issue before. As a musician, I have seen this demon enough times that i am compelled to call it an old friend. Well, given that I am not fond of this phenomenon, maybe I should call it an old foe instead. From the early days in my music career, I dealt with writer’s block to varying degrees. There are times I was unable to come up with any inspiration, sometimes I would come up with a great melody but fail to put the right lyrics in place, and in other instances I would have dope lyrics but no melody or energy to complement them. What remains constant in all the aforementioned scenarios was the inability to create music that would make it out of my writing space. After all these years, I haven’t found a way around writer’s block. It’s one of those things that I have just learned to accept. Nowadays, when I encounter writer’s block when making music, it becomes an exercise of patience, because I find myself getting increasingly frustrated if I try force the issue. I give thanks that nowadays the bouts of writer’s block, when creating music, are few and far between (touch wood).

Deadlines Looming – Getting A Move On

When making music, I have come to the conclusion that writer’s block is usually just an annoyance if anything. As the Shottaz, we have been lucky enough to be independent for our whole career, which means we get to move at our own pace. Having never been signed to any deals whatsoever, we have always had the luxury of time in our corner. We’ve never had to chase any deadlines, which has allowed us to go through barren writing patches without any serious repercussions. With regards to this blog though, I found myself responding to writer’s block in a different fashion. One of my major goals with this blog is to achieve a level of consistency, in terms of timing and quality of my posts. Given that consistency is a big factor in what I’m trying to achieve, I don’t have the luxury of time to get over things like writer’s block. Because I aim to post every Friday morning, I have a clear deadline of when I need to have each post completed. Whilst I have been able to turn in each post on time, this morning I found myself panicking as my deadline was fast approaching with me not having an idea of what I was even going to write about. Needless to say, the pressure got extremely intense before I struck gold with this topic. I now know that I will have to find ways around writer’s block in a blogging context given the need to meet specific deadlines. What I hope to get out of it all, are strategies of getting around writer’s block that can be transferred to the music sphere.

Time Management – An Invaluable Tool

One thing that did strike me when I was struggling to come up with today’s post is the fact that I set myself up to fail. Because I normally find it easy to come up with a topic, and subsequently flesh it out, I have been quite complacent with regards to working on my blog. I will go through the week without doing any structured planning for the week’s post, and just wing it on the day. During this slow moment in the music grind, I have found myself indulging in activities that don’t contribute to any of my exploits. This inability to use my time wisely has led me to the very situation I found myself in today. I therefore concede that I need to block out time each day to work on various aspects of my music, including this blog. My hope is that I will eventually become more efficient when developing this content, which will improve the blog in terms of quality and consistency.

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