‘How I Started Writing Songs Again’, A TED Talk by Sting About How He Overcame Writer’s Block by Returning Home

In his TED Talk, “How I Started Writing Songs Again,” former Police frontman Sting discusses how returning to his hometown of Wallsend in the Northeast of England helped the singer end a particularly bad bought of writer’s block that stretched over several years.

If you can’t write about yourself anymore, then who do you write about? It’s ironic that the landscape I’d work so hard to escape from and the community that I’d more or less abandoned should be the very landscape I’d have to return to to find my missing muse. As soon as I decided to honor the community I came from and tell their story, the songs came thick and fast. I’ve described it as a kind of projectile vomiting.