Have you ever found something when you were looking for something else? I love it when that happens. When that happens; the term to describe it is: serendipity. It comes from an old tale of ancient Ceylon by Horace Walpole entitled: The Three Princes of Serendip. The whole story is about how the three princes continually find something in the process of looking for something else.
The other day I found a special drill bit that I had been trying to find for years. I was rummaging around trying to find something else and I found this drill bit. "So, we killed the fatted calf and there was much rejoicing for that which was lost is now found!" Well not really, but it was great to find it.
Traveling in the direction of somewhere and ending somewhere else is frequently the result of song writing. I have also seen this happen with woodworking. A person starts with a design in mind and through numerous detours along the way, the finished project bears little resemblance to the original concept. If the artist can let go and let the wood speak for itself, the result is often better than the original design. Forcing the wood to bend to one’s will is frustrating because we have this mistaken impression that everything happens according to our own will. It doesn’t.
I think the reason for writer's block in song writing stems from a mistaken idea that those notes must go where we want them to go. So we force it but it doesn’t fit. I think there is a natural order to the universe and this order also generates its own rhythm. This rhythm is what we call music. That is why we know it when it works and we also know it when it doesn’t. This is also the reason that “noodling” inspires composition but intellectualizing a tune leads to frustration.
Let the music play! You may not end up where you headed, but you will serendipitously end up where you were going.