Bob Dylan, Neil Young: A Simple Tip To Improve Writing

Ever suffer from writers block? I collected some advice from some of history's most talented song writers in an effort to explore their techniques. One theme was referenced over and over. It seems counterintuitive that at the moment you find yourself frantically scrambling for the right words all you need to do is...

Don't Overthink

The best songs to me — my best songs — are songs which were written very quickly. Yeah, very, very quickly. Just about as much time as it takes to write it down is about as long as it takes to write it.
— Bob Dylan
Creativity is like a freight train going down the tracks. It’s something that has to be caressed and treated with a great deal of respect…you’ve got to program your brain not to think too much.
— Bob Dylan
“If it doesn’t come to me, I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to look for it. I really hate things that people work on. There’s nothing about music that should be ‘working on it.’ There’s no good reason to be something you’re not, or trying to be somebody that you think is good.”
— Neil Young
“When I write a song, it starts with a feeling. I can hear something in my head or feel it in my heart. It may be I just picked up the guitar and mindlessly started playing. That’s the way a lot of songs begin. When you do that, you are not thinking. Thinking is the worst thing for writing a song. So you just start playing and something new comes out. Where does it come from? Who cares? Just keep it and go with it.”
— Neil Young
“Our imagination is our divine force and if you just don’t block it up, it will come out and surprise you”
— Elliot Smith