Suffering from a creativity block? Here are some of the top ways to increase productivity and maximize your music creation as an artist:
1. Stop caring what your loved ones think
The easiest way to stifle yourself is to have your mom in the back of your mind shaking her head in disapproval. You will never be successful only creating the music that your family approves of. It may be hard growing up in a house where approval is everything but you need to make sacrifices to achieve a new paradigm in your creative output.
2. Listen to other genres
A simple way to get inspired is to change your normal listening habits. It is so easy to fill your playlist with the type of music that you make. It usually all ends up sounding very similar. This becomes a quick way to get you stuck in a box of cliché. Listen to a genre of music that you don’t normally consume. If you are a rapper, listen to some folk. If you are an EDM producer, listen to blues. You can learn from anything. After all, different music is just another human being’s expression of their life through art.
Always be reading books and articles or listening to new audio sources like audio books and podcasts. Your vocabulary will grow, your ability to contemplate complex ideas will improve, and your storytelling will benefit. A song may be born from a certain sentence in a story, a make believe relationship or an idea that makes you passionate.
4. Lower expectations
Lower your expectations on the quality of work that you produce. The only expectation you should have for yourself is that you will produce something. Just showing up and doing something is better than most people. In my experience, the term quality over quantity is not true. I believe that quantity breeds quality. The more you write, the more you create, and the more likely you can start to create something astounding. Set some goals for your quantity of work created. For example, one page a day. It could be complete nonsense, but just get some words on the page and you’ll find that momentum will carry you.
Getting your heart pumping for significant periods of time in any form is linked to improving the creative pathways of your brain. You will be happier after a workout and your mind will become clear. When I don’t run for a couple days my focus is off and my creativity is hindered. The thing is you don’t need to go crazy, even a 20 minute session every other day will be enough. Push through your initial hesitation and get started because it will be worth it! If you don’t believe me, or the science, just try it for yourself.
6. Minimize distractions.
Turn off your cellphone for a couple hours a day and get creating. Buy a notebook so you are writing on something that doesn’t have all these apps and advertisements. Go out into nature where there is fresh air and no one to bug you. Make this a conscious effort. It may be hard at first, but working unplugged will exponentially increase your output. You need to make sure that when you are writing that you are in a state of DEEP WORK. If an email pops up that you ignore, there is still part of your brain that is preoccupied with your email. Thus, your workflow becomes scattered and you will take much longer to achieve a fraction of your intended results.
What techniques do you use to maximize your musical productivity?