Cure Writer’s Block With a Little Bit of Music Therapy

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It’s no secret that the communications field is all about effective communication, especially in the written form. Whether we’re coming up with an angle for a press release, crafting creative copy, writing a blog post or exchanging emails, we spend an extensive amount of our time writing. As with any writer, we too can become drained creatively and develop a case of writer’s block.

While many of us have developed writing rituals that we lean on in times of creative distress, I’ve found that the perfect cure for writer’s block is a dose of music therapy (and a frothy latte). As a self-proclaimed music junkie, I strongly believe music has the ability to influence creative productivity and frequently turn up the tunes to keep my creative juices flowing.

Music promotes productivity

Studies have shown there’s a direct correlation between music tempo and the level of intensity at which people exercise. The higher the BMP (beats per minute), the higher the intensity. Since it’s human nature to naturally follow a tempo, this concept can also be applied to writing.

In the fast-paced industry we work in, we don’t have time to sit and ponder how we’ll come up with our next work of creative genius. We have deadlines to make and clients to please. When it’s crunch time, listening to music can help keep the brain on track, like an internal metronome that helps set and sustain the pace at which you write.

Music minimizes anxiety

If you spent most of English class staring at a blank piece of paper, tapping your pencil and wondering what to write, you understand how stressful of a task writing can be. Most of the time this anxiety only worsens writer’s block and can send even the brightest writers into a creative coma.

Listening to music can help reduce the anxiety that comes with writing, making the task more enjoyable and reducing the perception of effort involved. By offering a brief distraction, music can help you clear your thoughts and pump you up when you’re lacking motivation, putting you in a creative state of mind.

Music cultivates creativity

Music often expresses that which cannot be put into words. If you find yourself at a loss for words, listening to music can stimulate your creative senses, boost your vocabulary and bring out your inner voice. In our industry, it’s important for our writing to match the brand voice of our clients in a way that appeals to multiple audiences. If you’re struggling to find your unique writing voice, listening to different genres of music can influence your mood and help you portray different personas.

For example, when writing an informative piece, I’ll often listen to instrumental music such as classical or jazz, to feel intellectual and scholarly. In the opposite sense, when writing about a fun and entertaining topic, I’ll often listen to upbeat music such as popular chart topping tunes. For access to an eclectic library of music, sign up for free music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and Slacker Radio.

Next time you’re in a writing rut, plug in your headphones and turn up the tunes. Listening to music can revamp your writing and put some creative flair back into your work.

What unique writing ritual do you have? Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what genre do you find fosters creativity the most?

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Courtney Howell is an account assistant with Identity, supporting the social media team in combining social media strategy with traditional communications efforts to help companies build brand awareness, create new customer relationships, monitor relevant online dialogue and engage in direct conversation with online audiences.

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