Getting Truly Inspired

A lot of artists experience writer’s block.

Many books and articles instruct us to “be creative” and “get inspired”. The question is HOW? Instead of screaming expletives into a pillow, here are some helpful hints to get you back on track.


I once got on a plane from Phoenix to Denver with one hour’s notice. It gave me a rush of adrenaline and I spent the next week more inspired than I had been in months.

Travel somewhere new – experience something new.

“Life experiences” is a common answer when musicians are asked what inspired their songs. There is a reason for that! Others find inspiration when they finally escape their surroundings. Whether you need a mental vacation or you’ve run out of things to write about, this WILL help.

Exercise: Get in your car and go on a silent drive for 15 minutes to an undetermined location. Pull into a parking lot somewhere and think about where you are at in life. Think about what has caused you happiness lately, or what has caused you pain. (Warning: things might get deep real quick.)


Are you writing about or working on things that are genuine to who you are?

Don’t force yourself to write a love song if you don’t feel you’ve been in love before. If you’re sad, write sad songs. If you love pop music above all else and you always have, it may be time to re-consider that career in metal.

Are there things you want to say, but are afraid to say? In the words of everyone’s favorite motivational internet-coach, JUST DO IT. As an artist, you sacrifice the privilege of hiding how you feel. Realize this sooner rather than later…it’s your job to be emotional.

Exercise: Think of someone in your past who did you wrong, or vice versa. What was left unsaid? Write them a letter. (You don’t have to send it.)

ps. Watch this. Honesty in Songwriting – John Mayer


Do everything with purpose.

If you don’t have your goals clearly defined, start there. Continue by reminding yourself of them, a lot. Remember: you are the most reliable person you know. You are also the one who cares the most about what you will accomplish. Be your own coach.

Need a new purpose? Start looking for one with the previous advice. Think about what gets you out of bed every single day. If that doesn’t motivate you, think about how disappointed you will be with yourself ten years from now if you gave up on your dreams. (Don’t be too harsh on yourself, but seriously, do it.)

Exercise: Get a sticky note, a pen, and a hula hoop. Write your daily, weekly, or monthly goal on the sticky note and attach it to the mirror you look in everyday. (That’s right, I know how conceited you are.) Why the hula hoop? To celebrate when you accomplish your task.


by David Kleinebreil


Photo by Joshua Earle