It happens to all of us, often without warning: We find ourselves creatively challenged. We’re out of ideas, the energy to look for new stories to tell. It’s times like these that make us realize we need a battle plan to reignite the musical fire within us.
Not too long ago, for a brief moment, I lost my musical way. A plethora of simultaneous personal and career-related disappointments left me feeling uninspired and unsure of my next creative steps. But within seconds of starting a sound check in London recently with my band, I remembered why I chose this sometimes-slippery path: There’s nothing as soul-affirming as making music. And from that moment on, I’ve made it a daily priority to re-energize my musical self. No matter what else is going on, I make sure to write, listen to, and practice new music every day. I do the work, and the work shows me the way.
So for all of you who’ve hit the creative wall, (or those of you just seconds from impact), here are six tips to help you get musically re-inspired.
Get up, stand up! Want a sure-fire way to unfunk your musical drive? Move yourself! Nothing breeds career and creative misery like inactivity. Get out of your house. Go to a free concert. Jam with friends, old and new.
Be your own drill sergeant. Pretend you’re on deadline in a university class, and that you have homework due every day. Make it a daily point to write new music, and listen to artists that inspire you.
Think outside the box. Musical inspiration can come from non-musical places. Go to a museum. See a play. Watch a dance recital. Seeing great artists succeed in other disciplines makes you stronger in yours.
Find a partner. Are you finding it hard to get inspired on your own? Collaborate with someone new. Find a co-writer for that next song of yours. New musical blood will take you places you haven’t been before.
Ask for help. Sometimes, the first step is telling those around you that you need a helping hand. Get the word out that you’re looking for a new start. Help may be closer than you think!
Be grateful. No matter how uncertain you may feel creatively, you’re lucky to know what makes you fly. Give thanks for the talents you have; they’ve propelled you this far. With a little determination, you’ll find your way!