On Songwriting | Musings On How To Write a Song

Creativity Anxiety

Creativity Anxiety

Have you ever written a song only to wonder 1) where it came from and
2) if you’ll ever be able to write another good one again?

Songwriting is not a formula or a recipe. If it were, you could simply document the process and repeat it over and over again. Kind of like the scientific method, where if you do A, B and C under controlled conditions, you’ll predictably get the same result.

But creativity doesn’t work that way, at least not for me. Although I have always considered myself a student and continue to learn as much as I can about the craft, I’ve never been able to come up with a cookbook that produces the same delicious results over and over.

For that matter, the question of “Where do creative ideas come from?” is a total mystery — a genuine poser — and therein lies the source of the condition I’m calling Creativity Anxiety.


It’s not like writer’s block where you stare at a blank page wondering where to begin, or the feeling one can get when standing in front of a huge white canvas thinking about where the first brush stroke should land. Creativity Anxiety is a deeper issue, where you realize how fleeting and precious creative ideas can be, what a blessing they are when they do come along, and how they can just as easily float by completely out of reach as visit your specific brain.

What if the goose that lays the golden egg flies the coop and never rreturns? What if the well runs dry? What if the ethereal connection to the Muse disconnects — how do you hook it up again, and where does the Muse live anyway?

If Creativity Anxiety is the diagnosis, what is the cure?

Have you ever experienced the affliction? If so, what is your experience and how have you worked your way through to the next wave of inspiration?