Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt stuck with writing.
Okay stop raising your hand, I can’t see you.
Let me share a trick I recently learned when I was sick with the black lung. A terrible time, a truly awful time.
I was so ill I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t really fall asleep either, this is the worst kind of sickness. The limbo of half awake half asleep, it was hell. It was also precisely what I needed to slow down and get some ideas out! I was forced to sit in a dark room and low and behold, these parts of a couple different songs started to come to me. Songs I’ve been sitting on for months finally wrote themselves out, and in between coughing fits, I would smile and thank the hallucinations I had seen on the ceiling. Hahaha, I really was that sick!
Was it the fever dreams? Maybe that played a part in it. But I have tried this exercise since and I have found it works more often than not, no illusions this time around.
The trick is to turn everything off and just lay in the dark. When I say turn it off, I mean turn it ALL off. Don’t listen to music, don’t write anything down. The next time you’re feeling a little stuck with a phrase or where the next chord should go, sit for a while. Let it come to you instead of chasing it down.
Time to embrace the darkness
I have found that this really works when I’m trying to write new melodies! I can’t write with distractions. This technique has changed the writing game for me!
Will you fall asleep? Maybe, and that’s okay!
Your brain is incredibly powerful. I’m not going to dedicate a paragraph to how amazing it is. You get it, you know that imagination is an incredible thing.
I challenge you to try this exercise the next time you’re feeling stuck with a melody or with lyrics. Turn on the do not disturb and sit. Get that voice memo out and record some of the ideas you have. Resist that temptation to use the phone to text back.
That’s all there is to it! It doesn’t have to be this prolific thing. It can be as simple as a form of meditation.
I have hesitated to use that word till now because people immediately have some form of crossed legged, “Ohm,” come to mind. That’s not what I’m talking about (although doing this sort of thing really helps you in your day to day life as well).
Take a deep breath. You don’t have to crank it out today. You have to be open to let it come.
If you want to take your writing seriously, take a few minutes.
Let me know when it works for you! Leave a comment! Tell me I suck, I don’t care, leave a comment either way! Please subscribe to the email list, and if you dig what I’m laying down, give it the ole share for your uncle Dean’l.
One thought on “Turn It Off”
This was helpful to me even though I am not a musician. Sometimes you just need to let your mind reset and stop trying so hard to find the answer. This may help me as I start meal planning for other people. I’d imagine I will eventually lose creativity and can incorporate this “meditation” to help. Thanks, Dean.