In this posts I open my method of writing song lyrics – How I practice my writing and make sure I’ll always have ideas for new songs.
I collected a pretty good list of lyric writing resources I find useful (websites, apps ie.) – You can find the list from the bottom of this article!
I’m writing a comprehensive Songwriting 101 -guide for everyone who are interested to learn sonwriting. You can get started by reading Songwriting 101 – summary first and then moving into a massive Songwriting help for beginners -article.
The rule number 1 – Write lots of song lyrics – Even if you don’t feel inspired
I write a lot. I strongly believe that’s the best way to learn songwriting and writing song lyrics. In fact I try to write new music and songs everyday.
I don’t have any specific goal for each day expect making an effort of trying to write new songs.
Sometimes this method of writing no matter of what works and sometimes it doesn’t. Personally I don’t really stress about that since that’s a part of the learning process as well.
You should learn to write songs and lyrics despite of how bad or uninspiring your day is. You shouldn’t rely too much on things like current mood, your surrounding or weather. Those things will only slow you down.
If those things help you with your lyric writing sometimes – good, but don’t rely on them.
Lyric ideas are those tricky ones that need a bit extra focus sometimes. Artistic decadence that boosts lyric inspirations can be an option sometimes but it’s not for everyone, at least not for me.
Most people and songwriters are living pretty boring life with routines. I know it’s not that easy to find new lyric ideas from your daily life since everything starts repeating at some point.
And that’s the key of finding ideas for lyrics. You need to find your own way to find ideas. Don’t wait to get inspired, find your methods to get inspired when you want to. It’s definitely a skill and you can learn it.
I’ve thought this a lot during the years. From where and how to find topics for my songs. After lots of trying and mistakes I’ve figured out how to come up with lyric ideas from my own life easily with just few simple steps. You could try these ones!
Notice when you feel something strong and write it down asap
It depends on what kind of stuff you’re into writing but personally I aim to base my lyrics on real feelings. I rarely write songs about myself but I find it easier to write when there are real feelings involved.
There is pretty much every possible feeling present in your daily life in a form of another. Think about your last seven days for example. There are good and bad days. Sometimes you’re feeling relaxed, inspired, loved, angry or a bit depressed.
You don’t need to be a really angry or depressed to feel a little bit of those feelings. Try to notice when you’re feeling something and write it down. Try to describe your current mood with a few lines.
I like to write down how I feel so it’s easier for me to memorize those moments when I’m starting to write lyrics later. You’re probably not feeling inspired every time you have time to write songs but now your notebook helps you to get started.
Go back to to those moments and see if you can feel it again. What happened when you felt something worth writing down?
Use your daily activities as a baseline for your lyrics
Your life is most likely a pretty good source for lyric inspirations since there are everything that songs need. Emotions, interaction with people and different surroundings. Song lyrics are not usually about what is actually happening but how those things make you feel and why they matter.
If you had a good chat with your friend during the day you could start thinking why it mattered or how much that friendship means to you. Pretty universal and timeless topics for song lyrics.
There’s no need to write any stuff based on real events. Think a bit of what could have happened during the day when you were walking on a street. Describe how it felt and start building it from there.
Start playing with words
I find topics for song lyrics easily with the help of previous exercises. I’m just trying to memorize how I felt or trying the describe things with feelings without actually trying to open what has really happened.
But sometimes it’s hard to get started anyways. Then there’s only one option left and that is writing without any plan. Write down first word you can image and start playing with thoughts around the topic.
Soon you’ll find something that you can relate to and you have a new lyric draft sooner than you think. Happy writing! And btw, I strongly recommend morning pages for your daily writing routine. Read about morning pages from here!
Other resources for finding ideas for song lyrics
- Random word & lyrics generators are pretty useful if you’re trying to find something out from the box. Try these ones: Song lyric generator, Heuristic inc.