Writers Block :-/

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
We all get it, from time to time, surely!?

In fact, I've got such a mental block right now I dunno and forgot what else to say; other than I have writers block... HELP!!!!

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
well, I just found 8 bars of summut I randomly wrote down in a lecture the other week so am gonna see if I can make anything out from that :?
swaps between 2/8 and 3/8... fun! :)


Active Member
§from portugal§

i find that i have to be in th mood hen i write, or whatever i write is complete & utter garbage!!!!

Good luck ---- 2/8 :?


Naomi McFadyen

New Member
yeah, being in the right mood or frame of mind does help...
I'm in a kinda bad, evil, angry state at the moment; which, for wanting to write modern garbage (kinda Judith Bingham/Martin Ellerby style) I dont think that's such a bad thing, lol
Sorry to hear you are in a bad angry mood, try and think happy thoughts and things will start to get better. If not have a few of these :guiness


Active Member
Better to have a page of rubbish than an empty page; at least you can do something with that. Set yourself some limitations, a strict time limit, a tight structure, a limited number of chords etc. etc. and work around that. In my experience writers' blocks are usually created by having too many options.



I find writer's block and inspiration always come at the wrong time! If i've got 3 spare hours no ideas will flow, but if i suddenly have a rare brainwave i'm guaranteed to be stuck on a train with no pen and paper within a miles radius!

Mind you, me having brainwaves doesn't happen very often....

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
I know that feeling only too well Helen. Once I was walking into uni and this really good idea came into my head... it stayed there until band rehearsal, by which time I couldnt remember a thing of it...
I think I need to keep a dictaphone on me so I can whistle or, dare I say it, sing :shock: some ideas when I think of them so I won't forget them.

With Dave's suggestions:
Yes, I agree that a page of rubbish is better than nothing... I have X number of compositions that are unfinished, because they are either rubbish or too cheesey :? As time's been getting on and more experience is being drilled into me, the ideas are getting better (less cheesey!) and over-all writing has improved.
I sometimes find it hard to give myself limitations... especially giving myself a structure... I tend to start writing, the ideas flow, and the piece (in a way- excluding Marches of course) starts to write itself in its own structure...
This latest piece I've just started is in an open key, so limitations on number of chords in no problem... (Incidently, the piece is called Plague- hehe :twisted: )
So, I then agree that writers block is caused by having too many options... I never actually thought of it that way before, just thought my brain was empty of ideas etc.
Thank you :)

James McFadyen

New Member
I would have to disagree with straightmute by saying that too many options can cause writers' block. But that is only my opinon of my experence. I think that's a bit schoolish or beginnerish, if you know what I mean.

you can never have too many options - I say use as many things as you need to put your message across! That, to me, anyway is the most important thing. You have to take control and not let the music blow out of control - good planning makes light work later in the composition, structure isn't as important in music as it once used to be, but even somthing in free-structure is still structured. Composers use all sorts of tricks to develop and idea, things like Iso Rythms are great for greating intresting harmonies, you just have to learn to harvest the control of how to use ALL the devices YOU WANT TO USE.

In my own experence I would say that lack of practice and education brings writers block a lot more prominent to a composer - specifically education, for this is when you learn the real stuff of composition. If you want to write serialism/atonal - u never need to go near a piano or any other instrument - It's almost pure theory, especially when it comes to Intergal Serialism.

I think we can safely say that every composer get's writers block but I think as composers we need to learn to kick start the process much faster. This comes with practice. I compose everyday execpt christmas, newyear, etc, etc, even just to chuck it in the bucket, I learnt this from Debbie Wiseman! hehe :lol:

Naruco - if you're doing serialism (if that's what you mean by 'open key' in the atonal sense) then I think you'll find it much easier to start a piece, because it's all laid out for you, in the form of a note row or multiples of note rows and their inversions/retrogrades/inversions of the retrograde and all transpositions. blah de blah de blah............so go ahead girl! I'd certainly love to hear it!

Anhow, I think there is little we can really do to 'block out' writers block, I guess we just have to plod along no matter what gets flung at us.

I would just like to say that with this post I mean no harm or mean no derogatory meaning behind this. :lol:


Active Member
James McFadyen said:
I would have to disagree with straightmute by saying that too many options can cause writers' block. But that is only my opinon of my experence. I think that's a bit schoolish or beginnerish, if you know what I mean.

hmmm, as straightmute said, being overfaced with options is only his opinion! How can you say it's schoolish just because you don't agree!

James McFadyen

New Member
Please read my posts clearly, wherever I have made a point as MY OWN OPINON BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE, it is exactly that, straightmute gave his opinons, I gave mine. I do not wish to further extend my post


tMP Founder
Staff member
Just to let everyone here know, in the interests of good 'ol banding banter & comon sense & fair play - the Mods and I are watching this thread closely.... :wink:


Supporting Member
Roger Thorne said:
We weren't, but now you've posted in it . . . . YES!


Good idea, Roger. The bunny is obviously up to something. I think we need to review mouthpiece-speak and get the mind police to play loud band music outside his bedroom window at 4am.

I seem to be having a 'GO' day today. I keep seeing the word GO in the weirdest places. Is someone trying to tell me something or am I trying to remove my own writer's block. Nothing since my last piece a week ago.

(there is is again -> a - go)


Active Member
... with anything that brings you up against a brick wall, it is better just to chill out. Maybe start listening to music that you find interesting or completely new! It might be you are at a crossroads or hit a plateau on your creative learning curve. Change might be around the corner! The enthusiasm will come back with a renewed vigour and the ideas will start flowing again. As in Primal Scream's song title, ... 'Don't Fight It, Feel It!' :)

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
:lol: it was interesting bringing this thread back up again, as it was interesting reading, despight the shortness of it :p

Incidentally, the piece PLAGUE which was the writers block piece at the time last year, did finally get finished and is available on my website... so, do feel free to check it out if you havent already... it's about 3 1/2 minutes of chaos! (mainly).... I know some people have listened to it, enjoyed it... but it's hard aint it ;-)

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