What do you when your stuck with a writers block ?

What do you do when you working on something, whether its your game, artwork, music, or even something that your writing and you get a writers block?

I got this problem when I compose music , I create this really beautiful score, and I get stuck at the point where I want to continue it but I don't want to repeat what I just played. It happens to me a lot. So I end up with a ton of saved music files that only play for 1 or 2 minutes but they go nowhere. I cant explain it.

Recently, I started playing around with a Kontakt Library for my DAWs ( LMMS and Cakewalk ) that I purchased from Impact Soundworks called Shreddage 2 : Absolute Electric Guitar.


Now my problem is that I am a musician who is experienced with keyboard, piano, organ, harpsichord instruments. And unlike the guitar , which I happen to own a Ibanez, is different. My learning curve is that
keyboards are polarized, with black and white keys to mark the differences in half steps. Guitars do not have this, every fret is a half step ( e.g. A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# ...). So I had to make this picture guide ( see below). I thought middle C on the Piano was universal with all instruments, not so with electric guitars.

So I had to create a model of a guitar fretboard and mark all the sharps ( or flats ) black - so I could learn where they are on my guitar. The colors of each of the strings mark where they are on the standard notation model. Shreddage 2 uses a 7-string guitar tuned to A1 which is not seen. So the problem is that I am used to having all of my keys on the same line, not broken up into individual octaves like the guitar has. This is where composition thinking has its faults. Middle C as I discovered is on the 3rd fret of the 5th string. Shreddage 2 tuned to standard tuning, because when I play C3 via Shreddage 2 the dot lights up its fret board display.

One of reasons that I purchased Shreddage 2, was not only to compose instrumental music but also use it to teach myself how to play this stuff on my Ibanez which is a 6 string. There is a lot of things that I do not understand in this software (e.g. I do not know what sound compressor does ), mostly dealing with guitar terminology.

So my struggle is adapting what I know in keyboard ( piano ) to guitar with its limitations. I have to tune my electric guitar with my BOSS chromatic tuner every time I use it. I have to clean my strings after use, because the dirt or oil on the strings change the way the string vibrates. On my keyboard - theres no tuning that is needed. Tuning a real piano requires the patience of a saint, 88 keys ( or 88 strings ) vs 6 or 7 strings on a electric guitar. Oh, theres another pain, becuase I have a tremolo bar , when I change my strings , I have to redo my intonation because of the tremolo bar unit.

The Ibanez sales rep. said to me , it does not matter if I had a rosewood tremolo bar unit - I would still have to tune again as usual. Tremolo bar units when used - detune electric guitars from normal use, especially from long hours of playing.

So I am still learning the electric guitar, my guitar is being used as tool to help me understand how to compose music for it.

I want to write my own music in standard notation with tablature for guitar but I dont how to do that , because its missing the cleff and I cant write below what is recognized as middle C because thats where the lines for the tablature is. I also have to transpose anything that can only be played on a 7-string guitar on its 7th string for a 6-string guitar, which is near impossible to do sometimes because that deep sound on the 7th string is gone - which I like. I will have to buy an 7-string ibanez, one of these days, that will have come after I buy my next ibanez guitar that I plan to modify with a sustainiac coil.

So the heart of my problem is that I am so used to thinking as a pianist to write my music, but I am new to composing music as a guitarist. Thats my problem - and I the only way that I know how to get over it is with practice and experimenting.

This may be similar to your problem....

Feel free to copy the picture guide if you want and modify it to suit your needs ( you will have to modify it if you want it show a 7-string guitar's 7th string to be seen on both figures )

How do you deal with your writers block when your building your game, the art for your game, the music, or even the basic story line or plot line when your game becomes suddenly more complicated than what you realized? I try to plan out and make outlines to follow, but there is no way to compensate the sudden discovery of what you have is expanding as a idea as whole and where to lead the construction of it.

When I get stuck I just go back working my regular software engineering 9-5 job which pays comfortably but nothing that's going to make me a millionaire anytime soon. Now to achieve that, I have game development.. :p


this block comes when all your ideas come from someone else and not you. ive never had such a block, infact when i get an idea, i can expand it to infinity. but its my own, it comes from me, i know where it comes from and i can see where it can go. just go outside and see for yourself, no matter where you are, you can aways see where to go. even if its dark youll walk, experience and still manage a path. but when you think of other people, espetially people youve never met or seen, then its to be expected.


Generally, some type of music will come to head. I pick sounds that resembles slightly what i'm looking for then write it. I've found just putting in the notes by hand works great. (The more complex stuff I use or transfer with MIDI or wav files. The end files are generally .ogg) This is where more ideas come to play. Never a dull moment. At this stage i'm not mixing just laying down notes with close enough sounds. I can tweak/change and re-listen to what I have over and over. If I get bored with what I have it will be too boring for others too. Ill need to find a way to spice it up. This is when I create a bridge or calm entirely different from what I have. For instance with industrial I throw strings or other symphonics in the middle...just clear my mind...then ideas come again.

I then just record those sounds as patterns then play around with them on the track timeline until it sounds right. Of course this usually brings more ideas.


Yellow Dog
Can't speak for every outlet but as far as writing goes, just write anything. Write some bollocks about your main character going to the shops to buy some liquorice. While you're doing that, chances are you'll inspire yourself with some real ideas and can get back to the productivity you're after. Then you can delete that chapter about liquorice.


I'm with Druid here. Sometimes it's super helpful to keep an action going, even about something totally unrelated.

A change of scenery and pace, while still doing something creative can also be a massive help too. If you're stuck writing music, spend 15 minutes drawing, or writing a poem.

I hope your block doesn't last too long!


Your personality matters most here, in this picture. People cook differently because it is how they saw their mom cook, some treat animals good or bad depending if they had pets or not, depending if they had a bad experience or a good one in the past, guys treat girls differently based on various factors (such as peer influence, education, 1st girlfriend experience) - what all this proves to show is that advice from the exterior, from us, can but shed a light in a dark room, create pathways in a maze - this maze is your subconscious, this dark room is your inner self.

Shamans talk about periods of confusion, of wondering, of remembering one's self.
Philosophers talk about forgetting one's self in the chaos that is life.

Mentalists would suggest auto-suggestion.
Creatives would advise to do anything creative.
Your family would tell you that maybe you need a break.

But, what would Mario do?
What would Zelda do?
What would Mozart do? Sibelius?
What would Nietzche do?

"To think of everything as meant to be, is to release one of the burden of worry."

Performance artists have used creative block to create minimal pieces of art. Art that requires the utmost bare minimum, but encapsulates the quintessential of meaning.
Writers write. Pages of non-sense. But they write, cause that's what they do.
Dancers dance.
Painters paint.
Passionate people will always use whatever state they are in as a new fountain of inspiration. They understand that everything is in cycles, so they take advantage of this state of nothingness, knowing that it will pass (and if it does, and they do nothing, they will have wasted a good opportunity to create something unique).

Who am I?
Where am I?
Who was I?
Who am I becoming?

You know the answers to these questions. Your past is there to bring forth solutions. Everything that you are living now you have lived before, veiled under different cloth.

Ask God?
Resort to the Universe?
Watch The Holy Mountain again?

Some people require a pep talk.
Others a good 30 minute jog (#guilty).
Some resort to drugs.

But, what is it all if not just text? All action is meaningless without thought. Your state of mind decides what you gain out of what you sacrifice."Equilibrium, Exchange." . If you are to give as offering your time in exchange for new ideas, and are getting nothing, then it means the Muse wants a different sacrifice. Blood? Seaman? The eggplant from Spelunky? Maybe. It is up to you to offer something as sacrifice to the Muse. This all is but a thought. Think it and it is real.

That's another advice you could hear.

But, does it resonate with you?
Is it what you wanted to hear?

Maybe a book will help you! Try reading The Alchemist. Not interested? Read Coming Out as A Porn Actress! Not in your field? Understanding Comics by McCloud! No?....
Did you hear about Wolfi? The inmate. He was a schizophrenic that was locked in a mental institute and would compose these songs using a trumpet he made out of paper and then draw the music charts (very visual imagery).
Maybe you like movies! How about a really weird one, like Flying Lotus's movie "Kuso" ? That would inspire you to create some weird stuff. No? Something less weird, maybe "Holy Motors" by Leos Carax ?

Where have you drawn inspiration from during your childhood? People? Movies? Books? Auto-biographies? Dev-logs? Miyazaki animations? Comics? How about in your teens? Now, where does it come from?
Revisit those places and see what they bring forth.
Use your mind.
Listen to songs inside your head.
Play with your creativity.
My dad would say, "Go play with your d!*k in the sand, over there.".

Maybe you just need a good rest.
Maybe you just need a goof ***.
Some peanut butter and jelly?

What do I do when I have a creative block?
Hmmm... good question.

1. Think...
1.1 My mom is having health problems - and a somehow middle life crisis adventure.
1.2. My dad does not accept who I am.
1.3. Everyone thinks I will fail in what I do.
2. about...
1.4 My best friend is thinking about suicide.
1.5 Other friend is coming sober and is confused, does not know what to do with his life.
1.6 I am getting screwed over and ignored by companies I worked with in the past / tried to work with now.
3. having...
1.7 My right hand is semi-paralized after the arm operation.
1.8 I am working 12-14 hour shifts, sleeping 4-5 hours and using the rest to create.
1.9 College is starting. Have to recap all the japanese from 1st year.
4. a ....
1.10 Brother has had an almost deadly motorcycle accident and since recovering miraculously from it, has been working himself to death, day and night. I am worried a bit about him...
1.11 I have come to America to work on projects and I have succeeded in doing so. I am content.
1.12 I have not seen my GF in 3 months. Can't wait to see her next week.
5. creative ...
1.13 Ohhh, that's right, I wanted to read this book.
1.14 Ohh, Imma see 15 minutes of this movie on game dev really fast before going to work
1.15 I have worked enough today, I will draw something silly
1.16 Post Malone just put a new album out. Where are the reviews for it...
6. ...what was I thinking about? Ohh, right. ****. I almost forgot. I have to make a game for today!! And it's already 4am, wtf. It'll be something fast. Conceptual.

Projects have saved me. Something that runs daily. Whereas a creative block feeds off of not doing, off of stagnating, wondering off and about - daily projects ask of you to do anything - and apart from doing just a random scribble, jotting down a silly poem or doing a hippy dance, these efforts come together to create the body of a long lasting project. Say, 1 Game a day for 1 Month. 1 Vlog a day for 1 Week. One remix a day / one cover a day / an EP a week - anything that is recurring will ask of you and your creative side to generate content. It is when the chain is built, little by little, and you have 15 days, that the day comes when you have no ideas what to create, BUT you do, because you aren't just gonna take the piss on those 15 days behind you.

That was my 25 cents. Fun writing this. Thank you for the question. I'll go back to playing Another Perspective now.

eli loves you


I've literally never suffered unwilling writers block in my life.
I struggled nailing down writing subjects I didn't want to do, but I dont think I've ever been in a position where I couldn't just start writing something off the top of my head or not been able to express myself through writing. Im that guy that if you asked me to impromptu a story in 5 minutes to a given theme, I could do it every time. It just kinda flows, get the general idea out first, then make up the bridge material as you go.

I'd be the best D&D DM ever lol


Five minutes is easy. The challenge is keeping yourself inspired after you've been writing on the same subject for weeks and months.
Druid-san, how do you do it? How do you keep yourself inspired :) ?