How to Overcome Writer’s Block (As a Producer)

How to Overcome Writer’s Block (As a Producer)

What is Writer's Block?

For music producers, a similar concept to writer's block exists and is often referred to as "producer's block" or "music block." This occurs when a producer finds it challenging to create new music or continue working on their current projects. The symptoms and causes can be quite similar to writer's block:

  1. Lack of Inspiration: Producers may struggle to find new musical ideas or motifs that excite them.
  2. Technical Challenges: Issues with equipment, software, or understanding of production techniques can hinder creativity.
  3. Perfectionism: Striving for perfection in every aspect of production can lead to self-criticism and creative paralysis.
  4. Burnout: Overworking without breaks or experiencing stress can deplete creative energy.

Let’s look at three techniques you can use that may cure, or temporarily reduce, each symptom.

Lack of Inspiration

Lack of inspiration is a common challenge for music producers, but there are several strategies you can try to overcome it and get back into a creative flow: 

1. Listen to music: listen to new genres, albums or artists that you may not have heard before. Listening to new rhythm sections, melodies and harmonies may give you new ideas to create.

2. Sample: Trying new samples from places like Tracklib or even royalty-free sites such as Splice and then chopping, looping or pitching them can help you find a new idea for a record or even contribute ideas or parts to a song you have been struggling to finish.

3. Flip the Script: Move to a different space to practice or write music. You could even collaborate with an artist you have yet to work with and work in their studio or at a mutual venue.

Technical Challenges

Some artists may not have the most “high-end” equipment or simply may have grown stale over using the same plugins. Here are some tips:

1. Collaborate: Working with other musicians and producers can also help here because they will have access to programs or sounds that you may not have.

2. Upskill: Learning new techniques is a way to stay on top of software updates, and equipment advancements.

3. Find A Teacher or Mentor: Having someone who can assist with pointing you in the right direction can help with overcoming technical challenges and teach you new skills you can use to finish records.



Some producers struggle to finish records as they are chasing something that doesn’t exist, perfectionism. There is no perfect song, and you shouldn’t be chasing perfectionism when completing a record. Here are some tips on how to manage this:

1.     Set realistic goals and deadlines: Define what "good enough" means for each project and set release dates. Sometimes even publicly announcing these to force you to drop the latest track on time can you help you from procrastination in chasing perfectionism.

2.     Limit your options: Too many choices can lead to indecision and perfectionism. Some very famous artists have limited the amount of plug-ins, EQs and Compressors they use to ensure they finish records and don’t get lost in the infinite options available to them. If you want more advice around this, see Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies” for assistance.

3.     Seek feedback: Share your work with trusted friends, mentors, or fellow musicians. Getting feedback can help you gain perspective and improve without obsessing over minor details.


1.     Set realistic goals and expectations: As suggested in the last section, you want to make sure you set deadlines to release music consistently, but ensure your goals are realistic. Releasing one song a fortnight for an entire year, is better than releasing a song a week and then burning out. Find a cadence that works for you.

2.     Manage Criticism Constructively: Make sure you have a select group of people in which you take criticism from and try to block out the noise. Not everyone is going to like your music, so make sure that you don’t take every piece of feedback personally.

3.     Consider Professional Help: This is less specific to music but general advice. If the pressures of producing music is affecting your mental health, consider talking to a professional such as a Counsellor or Psychologist. 


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