Creativity can be a very tricky thing, as it depends on energy, passion and the ability to reinvent, innovate and improve to do better than the last time.
In an interview, the late Lulu Dikana said that writing songs is something that she truly enjoyed but sometimes she got overwhelmed and it took her a little longer to write a song.
“I love writing songs, but the pace of creativity varies from day to day. To write a song can take me anything between 10 minutes and day or days. It all differs. But in the end it is the joy of having finished the track that makes me happy.”
She explained, “A creative block normally occurs you are overwhelmed, and happens to a lot of musicians, actors, and writers, because of the creative nature of our work. Sometimes it comes from the excitement and joy of finishing a product.”
“To get over this particular creative block you have to take control of the excitement by writing down every single idea that comes to mind. Whether it is a word or a beat, write it all down. Try to focus on one and follow through with it.”
Musicians rely on their creativity to build a brand and establish themselves in the industry. They cannot afford to run low on creativity or be short of ideas. For this reason it is important to have measures in place to help fight off the dreaded creative block.
Creative blocks differ from musician to musician. It is unlikely for an individual to never experience a creative block. In fact, many can say that a creative block is the beginning of something new. Through the pressure and sometimes breakdown, something beautiful and unexpected surfaces. There are many different types of creative blocks, including mental, emotional or an overwhelming creative block.
The point is not to run away from this creative block or look to other vices to fight it. Rather, it’s important to learn how to revel in it and understand how to overcome it in order to get to the next level.
The mental block occurs when you just cannot seem to shift your mental thinking and are limited to what you already know. You keep envisioning the same beats, instruments and even lyrics. It becomes almost impossible to create something new. People in the music industry - from producers to composers and lyricists - will tell you that they have experienced the mental block. It does not mean you are incapable of creating something new, it just means you need exposure to something different.
The solution to a mental creative block is to experience a different environment or a different experience. There is always something new to learn or see, and getting out and seeing people or places is a great way to get your mental juices going.
However, other creative blocks are caused by an emotional experience. Often people and musicians themselves, forget that they are also humans and, as humans you also experience certain emotions that can block your creativity and ultimately cause procrastination. You can experience emotions from fear, pain and even embarrassment.
Ashlee Simpson was booed off stage at the Miami's Pro Player Stadium in 2005, Christina Aguilera’s voice cracked during a tour and Britney Spears was caught by a fan while she was lip-syncing. For all these musicians, during the embarrassing moment they probably wanted to crawl under a rock and die, but then they accepted what happened and went on to create even better sound tracks and in turn got more fans.
When experiencing an emotional creative block it is always important to remember that you are allowed to go through emotions. As a musician, you can use these emotions to your advantage. You can write a song about how you overcame a painful experience, or instead of ignoring an embarrassing moment, celebrate it because it is a reminder of how you were off track and recovered. The experience should make you want to become better.
Who knows? From being overwhelmed by one track, you can go on to create a whole bunch of brand new tracks!”