After an awesome Memorial Day in Boulder, I was driving home at sunset. I could see the mountains in my rearview mirror, glowing a golden orange from the setting sun. I was happy but also a little melancholic because the girl I’d spent time with there was not coming back to Denver with me. I was listening to some music by some good friends of mine—and that, along with the beautiful view and the tinge of sadness, inspired me to write a song. So I started formulating the lyrics in my head.
I’ve got Boulder in my rearview mirror, but I still can’t see anything clearer…
No, that’s no good.
I’ve got Boulder in my rearview mirror but Denver’s on the horizon…
Even after I got home and picked up my guitar, no magic happened. So I put it aside and instead practiced the songs of a band I’m currently playing bass for.
The award-winning ad executive Hal Riney once said, “The frightening and most difficult thing about being what somebody calls a ‘creative person’ is that you have absolutely no idea where any of your thoughts come from really. And, especially, you don’t have any idea about where they’re gonna come from tomorrow.”
I wrote a whole album of songs not too long ago, and I honestly can’t tell you how I did it. Each song came to me all at once: chords, melody, lyrics. It’s like they just happened. They were inside me and had to get out. And that’s how it’s always been with my songwriting. I have no process or strategy. And, as of right now, there doesn’t seem to be anything that just wants to get out. I guess I’ll keep playing the ones I’ve got until that happens.
3 thoughts on “Songwriter’s block (thoughts on the creative process)”
This is a great experience about songwriting. Basically, the craft of songwriting just flows into our mind and we can then write so much about it. The melody just comes without even realizing it.
I also had that experience too, the rhythm, structure and lyrics just comes like you never expected it would happen and you realized that you can indeed write a good song
Same thing happens to me with writing. I can want to write something, but unless it bubbles up and out of me like a washing machine loaded with too much soap, I get nothing. (Well, nothing good, anyway.)
I like that comparison…ideas like bubbles.