Monday, July 26, 2010

Stirring the Creative Pot 2

OK, I’ve told you how to get ideas to come to you is to just keep writing. “But I don’t know what to write about!”

No? How about writing about not knowing what to write about?

Here’s a technique that can be adapted to many things, but I’ll start by explaining it from a lyrics point of view. All you need is a pen or pencil and some paper, and a bit of quiet time. If you can set a timer for 15 – 20 minutes, so much the better.

Then, start writing about anything at all. ANYTHING. And – (here’s the catch) – don’t stop writing. I don’t care if you write “I don’t know what to write is this woman nuts there isn’t anything in my head to write about and if there were it couldn’t get in because I’m writing about not knowing what to write about is this writers block I’ll bet even Mark Twain had writers block and….”

I’m willing to bet that you will get very bored with writing about “I have nothing to write about” after a few minutes and your unconscious mind will start to throw out suggestions of more interesting things to write about – and so by all means, start writing about that.

You can use this same technique with an instrument. Pick up your instrument and start playing – but not a “known song.” In other words, “noodle.” Again, keep noodling for a while. (Chances are you already do this.) If you find yourself playing a theme or hook that you’d like to use in a song, just make a note of it so you won’t forget, and keep going. This works for vocals – just sing syllables, sounds, lalalafaladozaladazap…

Final, important step: Don’t judge what you just did. You might have found something that has promise; keep track of it. You might have the start of a song, and the next part might be just around the corner, or it could be a couple of years in the future. It doesn’t matter; stick the idea in a file where you keep such ideas. You can always come back to it later. Don’t worry, if the rest of the song is ready to appear, it WILL find you.