There’s no reason to mystify the process of writing lyrics. If you have a solid gameplan, you’ll be able to write something decent in no time. If you know where to skip the detours, that is.
This article is aimed at prospective songwriters, but also producers. Most instrumentalists without any experience in creative writing rarely pick up a pen to hammer out some great lyrical ideas. There’s no reason to refrain from doing so, though.
Try to detach yourself from categories such as tracker, topliner, instrumentalist and think like a allrounder. Try to warm up to the idea of producing a beat, laying down melodic content and lyrical imagery. Most hinderances start in the mind, so you got to get loose up there.
The first pointer dips into who is in charge of what …
When was the first time you produced and finished a beat? Or completed a stunning, harmonic base for a mindblowing song? Do you still remember? How about the doubts and questions leading up to that moment. At some point, you stopped merely adoring other productions, and you dove into your own sound. Into your own quest.
The same can be applied to lyrics. If you have the mindest of being last-in-line, even if there’s someone there to fix this and that, you’ll make damn sure things live up to your expectation.
Renew your accountability in terms of writing. As said before, try to detach from former categories and “roles” you assumed. Courage is a prerequisite of fast and efficient writing. And courage starts with productive, barrier-breaking self-perception.
There’s no blueprint
There’s literally no blueprint to creating a continuous flow of great, lyrical content. Even though the net is flooded with alleged songwriting gurus, working formulaic will most definitely bore the hell out of you.
This doesn’t mean you have to try to push the boundaries of songwriting with every idea you pursue. What it means, is that you, even if you’re writing style is orthodox or just plain weird, should hold on to your individualistic style.
Personality always beats strategy. Many writers won’t even be able to tell you what exactly they are doing, because they are so detached from conventional norms.
Break the blueprint, tear it up.
Follow the storm’s eye
There’s a very intuitive way of quick-fixing the overall consistency of a topline.
Define what your lyrical storm eye is. This means your central thought, image or notion. Then chase it through the entire song. This means check how every line corresponds to this idea. Is something completely far off? Or is everything somehow connected with this singled minded notion?
Again, this isn’t something you HAVE abide by. Some songs have a world of themes and ideas. And they work well. Oftentimes, this variety is a theme in itself, though.
So try not to underestimate the importance of interconnection within your lyrical body.
The first draft is always the first draft. Try not to go into too much detail when amending phrases. Go for a fast scrub.
This means try to keep your productive groove going. Creating and criticizing are two very intense, yet different tasks. They consume, energy, concentration, time and will-power.
But once you start criticizing, your mind rarely knows when to stop. If you produce music, you probably know the dangers of mid-production editing.
Done is better than perfect can be applied to lyrical writing also. Obviously, make sure the end-product meets your standards. But try to divide these two very essential, yet diametral steps of the writing routine.0 be the first one to show some appreciation for this!