Breaking the Songwriters Block in Lyrics Writing

If you are just starting out or are a seasoned writer with writers block here is a great route to travel to aid you in your journey to lyric writing.

Things you will need.

– a small trash can

– scrap paper (at least 7 pieces)

– a notebook

– pen or pencil

– local newspaper or magazine

– any tape (1 piece)

– a thesaurus (if you don’t have one you can go to thesaurus.com)

Lets get started by getting rid of all the negativity. No we aren’t going to meditate or sing “Kumbaya”. What I am going to have you do will require you to use 6 of the 7 scrap pieces of paper and a pen/pencil. Write down 6 negative thoughts running in your head:

– I cant do this

– I’m not good at this

– I’m stuck

– this sucks

On the 7th piece of scrap paper write the word “LIES”. Use to the tape to attach it to the trash can. Now take the 6 phrases you wrote, crumble them up, and shoot them like basketballs into the trash can.

Makes ya think, doesn’t it. Now lets get to a song.

First we need a topic. Any topic. For the picture example I have chosen the topic “Cats”. Now you need to come up with 20 or more words associated with your topic.To do this ask the following questions Who, What, Where, Why, When, Who is effected by your topic? How does your topic make people feel? Is there a location involved? What makes your topic occur?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Lets get a little deeper. Chose 5 words from the list above, the words have to be a Noun (person place or thing). Under the words you have chosen, come up with 5 words that describe each one.

4. We still need more words. Take your newspaper or magazine and don’t read any article completely, simply skim over each page and write down the words that stand out. any and all. I used a movie review and generated 25 words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Set the scene. The scenario and what you are going to write your song about, has already been chosen for you, by you. Go back to the 5 words you selected.

 

 

 

6. Lets create the first line of our song. New piece of paper. Where,how,why does it start?

 

 

 

 

I used my list of words and noticed the word “Window”. What is a window? What does it represent? How is it used? For me window is something you can use to either look outside of where you are, or to look into.I put myself inside, looking out. Rather than just looking, you often find people day dreaming or gazing out a window, wishing they were some place else. Now I need a word that rhymes with window. You will need more paper, and another list. You can use words that you know and if you cant come up with any or need more there is a great website that can help. https://www.rhymezone.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made my list and decided on “limbo”

Trapped inside of this glass my thoughts are held in limbo

Now I have a pretty good setting and an idea of what is going on.

Sitting on the floor, gazing, searching out of my window

Trapped inside of this glass, my thoughts are held in limbo

In those 2 lines, you should have a good mental picture of the setting , the atmosphere. For the next line I used my words from above and created this :

I can see the light and feel the air

Then just like above I wrote down words that rhyme with “air” and created :

It’s what lies beyond that makes me stare

 What is happening is through the combination of words and the mental picture they created, the story is kind of beginning to write itself. You now know the basic turns to take. I’m just filling in the descriptive blanks. We are not worrying about song structure just yet. Continue on writing, telling the story, and if/when you get stuck go back to the words list. Tell the story to the end. You should have a minimum of 12 lines , ideal would be 18 lines, no more than 24.

Welcome Back.

All done? Awesome. How did you do? Here is what I came up with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok so, now that we all have our story done. We can go ahead and format it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting on the floor, gazing, searching out of my window

Trapped inside of this glass, my thoughts are held in limbo

I can see the light and feel the air

It’s what lies beyond that makes me stare

Watching leaves fall upon the dry forest floor

They slowly sway downward, the ground their final score

The more that fall, the more light can shine in

I’m no longer in the shadows of what once has been

I plan my escape, this glass wont hold me in

I can climb up so high and find my place on a limb

I will tower above you as you say to come down

We can live without the windows in that box in the ground

Now that formatting is done,we need to make it a song. We need a chorus. The chorus is the catch, the hook, the part that people will sing along to. It needs to describe the story without telling the ending.It needs to be able to fit between the story lines when we break them up. My summary is that being stuck indoors can apply limitations to our thoughts,dreams. (of course this all being through the eyes of a cat)

It’s like despite all the objects, I am trapped in a space

Wanting and knowing there’s a way out of this place

I’m dreaming of a life that I don’t want to miss

I wont look back cuz there is there is more to life …. than this.

Now you can insert your chorus to your formatted verses. Summarize the verses and the chorus in it’s entirety. If anything repeats in the chorus, you have your title. Or you can pick from the words you chose at the start.

Here is mine completed :

More to Life (Than This)

Sitting on the floor, gazing, searching out of my window

Trapped inside of this glass, my thoughts are held in limbo

I can see the light and feel the air

It’s what lies beyond that makes me stare

 

It’s like despite all the objects, I am trapped in a space

Wanting and knowing there’s a way out of this place

I’m dreaming of a life that I don’t want to miss

I wont look back cuz there is there is more to life …. than this.

 

Watching leaves fall upon the dry forest floor

They slowly sway downward, the ground their final score

The more that fall, the more light can shine in

I’m no longer in the shadows of what once has been

 

It’s like despite all the objects, I am trapped in a space

Wanting and knowing there’s a way out of this place

I’m dreaming of a life that I don’t want to miss

I wont look back cuz there is there is more to life …. than this.

 

I plan my escape, this glass wont hold me in

I can climb up so high and find my place on a limb

I will tower above you as you say to come down

We can live without the windows in that box in the ground

 

It’s like despite all the objects, I am trapped in a space

Wanting and knowing there’s a way out of this place

I’m dreaming of a life that I don’t want to miss

I wont look back cuz there is there is more to life …. than this.

This was all created because I looked at my surroundings, and my cat was the first thing that stuck out. I doubt anyone is really going to take away that this is all based upon a cats perception. And that is one of the more awesome things about music, its open to interpretation. Now that you are all done and formatted, stand back and take a look at your creation. Congratulations, you are now a lyric writer. Feel free to post your results in the comment section below.

 

 

 

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