We’ve all been there before: You’re feeling inspired, you sit down ready to write a new song and when you pick up the pen… nothing comes. Writer’s block isn’t just for authors, it happens to musicians all the time.
Don’t you fear! There are ways to overcome this mental block stopping the lyrics flowing from your dome to the paper. Try these techniques and the right words will be coming out in no time.
Lyrical Mood Boards
Got a theme or a mood you want to write lyrics about but not sure where to start? Brainstorm! Write down what you can see, smell, where you are, single words of how you’re feeling. Try to match your feelings or theme to pictures or textures. All of these rich words and sensory thoughts will be the material to paint your lyrics and enable the listener to connect with your music much more easily.
Keep a Diary
If you’re like me, you’ll be awful at keeping a diary, however I’ll always make sure I’ve got a notepad or my phone on me so whenever any poetic, fleeting thoughts pop into my head I can make sure I document them. Take this notepad with you to places you know will evoke emotion or nostalgia in you and see what happens to pop into your head. I’ve amassed 10 or so pages of mostly singular words, or sentimental sayings using this technique which are now scribbled all over my room for my next lyric writing session.
Keep Your Vocabulary Fresh
Your lyric writing could see a new lease of life from you expanding your vocabulary and reading habits. Try sourcing out poems, books, music reviews that are out of your comfort zone or materials you wouldn’t necessarily glance over. Some of the most vivid lyrics I have written have been after reading things I wouldn’t have thought about even picking up. Even if you’re only wanting to expand your vocabulary a little, pick up a thesaurus or dictionary. Maybe don’t try and use pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis in your lyrics though!
Stream of Consciousness
This was a lyric writing technique that was taught to me whilst studying for my degree. Initially I was quite skeptical of it but it turned out to bring some great lyric-writing benefits. Get a pen and a piece of paper and just start writing. Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate or correct what you’re doing. Stream of consciousness can make you feel awkward or give you the urge to edit what you’ve written. Although at the same time, you will produce lyrics and discover thoughts you weren’t conscious of.