Music Composers Unite!
I have the luxury of writing music just for the fun of it. If it were my job, I'm sure the challenges would be many. As it is I sit down and write music. And I have a blast. Works for me, but not everyone.
(Hopefully like others) i hit 'writers block' that can manifest itself as - stuck with an idea that works and cant find a new direction for my piece or nothing good comes to mind after repeatedly watching a shot or scene or script. In these cases what works well for me is to shut down my daw and try and relax - i take a walk or if im home, i cook something. I find these two activities let my mind relax and some new ideas start to flow or the break helps me get new ideas when I look at the shot again. Sometimes I realize my muscle memory is what is getting in my way of coming up with a new idea - and I just watch the shot without a keyboard in front - the tunes that pop up are more refreshing and original when i do it this way.
I dont like using templates (until i have a few parts scored and the sonic palette is well set). This means when I get an idea, i risked losing it while finding the right software instruments to bring that idea to life. I found a workflow that helped - i have a 'sketchbook' template with 4 instruments (piano, strings, timpani, analogue synth) and i can now quickly capture the essence of that idea before it fizzles away.
I try to write something everyday - a lot of times with no purpose (not a job etc.) but i find it helps me keep whatever 'muscles' primed for when I do have a job. It also is a great learning experience as i keep finding small tweaks to my workflow within my daw or a nifty short cut or a writing technique.
Im constantly trying to write less notes but still convey the idea/story - i find most people i have worked with like that approach as it leaves room for the rest of the components to tell their story - i write what comes to mind, finish it, then start reducing/removing parts. I wish i could not do all that extra work but sometimes I have to fill in all the parts before I know what to take out :)