Sometimes I know it’s TIME to write something – an article, a blog, an email – I just don’t know WHAT to write. Writer’s Block has a nasty habit of rearing its ugly head at the most inconvenient times. The same thing can happen when I’m DJing, trying to figure out what to play and what to creatively mix together.
One of the most well-known techniques for breaking the grip of writer’s block is to just start writing. Anything. Stream of consciousness nonsense if that’s what comes out, but the key is to just start the physical act of writing and warming your brain up to access its creative core. If you’ve ever felt at a loss as to what to play next or mix together when you’re DJing, you’ve suffered from what I call “mixer’s block” and using a similar technique can help fire up those creative DJ synapses and have you back to inspirational mixing in a snap.
Of course having a set prepared in advance eliminates the challenge of mixer’s block. While it’s never a bad idea to have a fallback set ready to go in emergencies, preset playlists can also eliminate the creative immediacy of responding to people on the dance floor and coming up with new mixes. The key – as it is with writing – is to just start playing songs together. Soon, you’ll start getting into a rhythm with your mixer. You’ll warm up to beat matching and you’ll be surprised at the musical ideas that start to emerge.
Just like a writer can’t always expect to churn out a best selling novel within minutes of putting pen to paper, neither can a DJ always expect to create amazing dance mixes the first time you hit play. The trick is not waiting for those things to happen. Forget the best-selling novel and the amazing dance mix and just get to work. Amazing will happen soon enough.
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