Undergraduate Research Project; Songwriters and Writer's Block

Are Songwriters Immune to Writer’s Block? Diagnosed with Professional Creativity.
Rebekah E. Tripp, 2017 


This study measured the phenomenon of physiological writer’s block among professional and recreational songwriters in the attempt to detect a trend in its occurrence at different stages of the songwriters’ progression of skill mastery. Writer’s block is "defined as a distinctly uncomfortable inability to write" (Huston, 1998, P. 93), it is when the mind is blank of thought when a person attempts to create an original work. This study makes attempt at defining what is the type or types of ideas that songwriter’s are looking to form when they face writer’s block, which would better allow the songwriter to know how to find it. This research is intended to make ideas easier to discover. The data provided by 22 survey participants was used to determine this, as well as to discover if more education is generally necessary for songwriters to combat writer’s block, and whether such combat should be foundational prevention or a short-term solution. This paper makes note of other key studies including Rideout, 2014 Creativity and Songwriting, Huston, 1998 Resolving Writer’s Block and Flaherty, 2004 The Midnight Disease. Through analysis and discussion of the data provided by a survey and research drawn from other sources, Tripp concludes that writer’s block is inevitable as a hobbyist songwriter or professional songwriter. There are no particular conditions that prevent writer’s block entierly, but there are things one can do to reduce it’s liklihood. After certain stages in a songwriter's educational progression and professional growth creative blocks do decrease significantly due to practice and education.

Keywords: songwriting, writer’s block, creative blocks, prevention, optimal conditions for creativity and original thinking


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