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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm wondering if anybody else has this problem. Basically, lately, I haven't been able to finish any songs. Like I can start them, get a few lines down n then nothing. This never used to be a problem... at least not for this long. Any other creative types go through this?? Specifically being able to start stuff but then loosing inspiration/motivation/whatever and not finishing it?


^^ All k()ad btw.:wink5:
 

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Michigoose
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For weeks and weeks at a time, especially if I'm trying too hard. Forget the songs for a couple days, and wait for them to start bouncing around your head on their own. The good songs always write themselves; sometimes they just take a while to come out.
 

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Sticky Valentine
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I used to write constantly, just about every single day. I have notebooks upon notebooks of things I've written. Songs, stories (actually my "stories" are more like situations than anything else), poems, whatever. I just used to write out everything.

It's been a couple years for me since I've been able to do anything like that. Ever since I finished the coursework for my MA and was thrust out in to the "real world" my creativity level has dropped incredibly and I've recently been trying to get it back, whit a little success, I think.

Part of my problem was motivation. I just didn't seem to have any. Starting something was hard for me, which doesn't seem to be your problem. I'm kind of opposite of you and Filter, I suppose. I spend 80% of my time trying to start something that I'm satisfied with and when I strike something I like things seem to flow out till they're done. It's been a while since I've hit a good vein that's gotten me anything I've been satisfied lately, but I'm trying to get back to it. Going back through some old notebooks sort of helps get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes I see things I'd written years ago and can hardly believe that I was reading my own voice and it can be a little inspiring.



joe
 

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RBR Veteran Opinionater
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1,457 Posts
There's a bit in the movie "Finding Forester" where Connery gets the kid to just start writing a continuation of one of his (Connery's) old pieces. Just write and write and sort the nuggets out later.

I'll jump around in a song and find parts that I like and see if I can find ways to put them together. Each new part or connection usually means that the older parts get changed a bit to assist the fit of the new. Sometimes the song ends up saying something other than what I thought was a great start.

Sometimes, with a deadline, I'll end up with a song that needed more re-writing. Like in my Bicycling magazine win-any-new-bike-09 entry that I just submitted. Dang, I wish I could change up a few things in it.

It's like designing a house, where you get bits that you like or need, and you fill in between, then rework everything as many times as needed till it all emerges as the totally right thing.
 

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Alien Musician
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I just muddle thru. But I've been doing this more or less continuously since the late
1970s but finally have a studio that allows me to finish what I start.

I find much of the battle is learning to relax and listen to where the music wants to go.

But I have lots of half finished stuff out there, hundreds of pieces of music, the other
half is pretty much done, Sigh.
 

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Super Moderator
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Have you tried phoning the Fountains of Wayne Hotline?
 

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Devoid of all flim-flam
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Finish it off with the most rank, forced and dusty cliches your brain contains. Don't worry how bad they are. Keep playing the song with those cliches attached. With luck they'll provide the foundation for something special.
 

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...?
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I've had that problem with painting for the last couple years. I get these great ideas and start on something, and just never manage to finish. I have lots of partially completed pieces in my studio.
 

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Le Misérable
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Mapei said:
Finish it off with the most rank, forced and dusty cliches your brain contains. Don't worry how bad they are. Keep playing the song with those cliches attached. With luck they'll provide the foundation for something special.
IME that's fantastic advice, for music and for fiction of all types. For me it's all over if I get hung up on doing one particular part just right; I'd rather barf out a whole bunch of shyte and either harvest the good stuff later or, if there is no good stuff, use it as a springboard to get into deeper waters.

Perhaps genius-y people are more efficient and clean, but for me art is 1% inspiration and 99% peristaltic acid-reflux necessity. It just comes out, and it's up to me to not throw out the valuables during clean-up.
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
MWPDX said:
So I'm wondering if anybody else has this problem. Basically, lately, I haven't been able to finish any songs. Like I can start them, get a few lines down n then nothing. This never used to be a problem... at least not for this long. Any other creative types go through this?? Specifically being able to start stuff but then loosing inspiration/motivation/whatever and not finishing it?


^^ All k()ad btw.:wink5:
Happens to everyone at some time. Read Bob Dylan's autobio for his account of writers block.
 

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Shirtcocker
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mohair_chair said:
Your problem is that you are too happy. You need more angst in your life. Go out and get arrested.
He could start by ditching his wife and hooking up for a hot tub 3-way with one of his exes and her friend(s). Let nature take its course from there.
 

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Back from the dead
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Bocephus Jones II said:
He could start by ditching his wife and hooking up for a hot tub 3-way with one of his exes and her friend(s). Let nature take its course from there.
I was thinking more about getting into a bar fight, or robbing a liquor store. But your way sounds good too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think mohair may be on to something (srsly). For a decent part of my life, I had all kinds of problems w/ all kinds of things (drugs/wimmenz/relationships w/ pretty much anybody/etc) and tons of great self ritious anger about the government and society in general seem to work. But I think I've pretty much gotten all of that "energy" out on paper and now I'm sorta... empty.

I guess I should consider myself lucky, I don't really have most of those problems anymore and I think I've 'calmed down' quite a bit. I guess on the whole, stuff worked out alright... but I miss being able to sit down and write a song about all the ways in which the world has wronged me... or you... or whoever.
 

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Shirtcocker
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MWPDX said:
I think mohair may be on to something (srsly). For a decent part of my life, I had all kinds of problems w/ all kinds of things (drugs/wimmenz/relationships w/ pretty much anybody/etc) and tons of great self ritious anger about the government and society in general seem to work. But I think I've pretty much gotten all of that "energy" out on paper and now I'm sorta... empty.

I guess I should consider myself lucky, I don't really have most of those problems anymore and I think I've 'calmed down' quite a bit. I guess on the whole, stuff worked out alright... but I miss being able to sit down and write a song about all the ways in which the world has wronged me... or you... or whoever.
Think of yourself as the Rolling Stones. You're in the Tattoo You phase of your career now.
 
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