The Elbow frontman told The Guardian that he feels challenged to compete with the work his long-time colleagues come up with.
"For fear of making us sound like The Waltons, my band are a huge source of inspiration for me," Garvey said.
"They're my peers, my family; when they come up with something impressive, it inspires me to come up with something equally impressive."
Among other advice, he said that writers should not be scared of failure and added: "If it's all getting too intense, remember it's only a song.
"I learned that the hard way: when I was younger, I played the part of the erratic, irascible drunk in order to have something to write about."
Garvey also urged people to "just start scribbling", explaining: "The first draft is never your last draft. Nothing you write is by accident."
Elbow started work on their sixth studio album, the follow-up to 2011's Build a Rocket Boys!, last summer.
> Elbow to soundtrack BBC Olympics 2012 coverage
Watch Elbow perform 'Mexican Standoff' live at Fearless Music, NYC below: