“Something I do in the studio is revisit a tune that’s been recorded and just jam along with my guitar to see what I can come up with. If I find something that makes me go, “Whoa, I really like that,” I’ll go in and alter the song to include that new layer. I find that really works for me. We’ve spent so much time thinking about these songs, to the point where we’ve got them really nailed down. But, that one final pass might lead to something new and exciting.”
The quote above discusses a very important message in relation to the creative process. As a writer, I can certainly appreciate the sentiment of going through the same piece of work over and over again, thinking there is nothing more than can be done to it. And then, at the very last moment, you realize that there is one extra tweak, that one last alteration that really “completes” the piece.
Just because you may have looked over a piece of work a countless number of times already, it is usually worthwhile to revisit just one more time. This is an interesting viewpoint on inspiration, but it only works when you have the luxury of time. What about the rest of the time? How do you fill in the gaps when the vision doesn’t just come to you?
Appropriately enough, I think one of the best ways to get inspired is also one of the best ways to stay productive: listen to music. It’s up to you what kind of music you want, but just having it play in the background can work wonders on jump-starting the old noggin.
On a side note, I suggest you check out some of the music by Silversun Pickups. It’s definitely a little different from the mainstream, though it seems to borrow some inspiration from other groups like Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth. Among the tracks that I particularly enjoy are Future Foe Scenarios, The Royal We, Panic Switch, and Common Reactor.