People love to focus on developing their image, getting the best beats, and making money as rappers, but what about the simple joys of developing your own lyrical story for your songs? How do you even start that process?
Writers in the music world face the same challenges that other writers face when it comes to being stuck in a rut where their creativity is not at the level they need it to be. It can be a very sucky thing to go through and can last for years if you have it really, really bad.
Have you ever sat down with the intention to write a good song but didn't actually have a thing to write about?
There is no one magic answer that will allow songwriters to get out of a creative funk, but many tips and tricks can help you along the process, depending on who you are as a writer, what you're going through mentally, and what you're capable of.
A writing prompt can bring you lots of creative juice. You may remember this writing tool, often referred to as an essay prompt, from grade school or college when you were in English class, and the teacher would hand you a list of ideas in the form of a question or statement that you could write your paper on.
Creative writing prompts take all the boring elements of essay prompts and apply them to the possibilities for your next song. In order to come up with a song idea, all you need to do is review a huge list of varying ideas to get your brain moving in the direction of creating some magic.
Some will call writing prompts cheap or an artificial way to make art that should come from the soul, and they may have a point there.
Depending on what your goals in your musical journey are, you may just want to wait until something naturally hits you based on your emotion, your day, or your past experience.
On the other hand, if you're like me and you don't necessarily have the time or luxury to wait for a good idea to come to you, check out some of the ideas below to see if they help you with song direction.
Songs about Romance: falling in love, falling out of love, being scared of love, reminiscing on old love, wondering about a missed connection, being jealous of love around you, being in love with more than one person, forbidden romance, toxic love, trying to escape from love, being bad at love, avoiding love, love after heartbreak, divorce, falling in love with a celebrity.
Songs About Family: having your first child, love for your parents, love for your siblings, a family cookout, having your family's back in a fight, not liking your family members, providing for your family, hiding a family, trying to do better for your family.
Songs About Revenge: getting revenge, a time when someone sought out revenge against you, regretting getting revenge, how an enemy will never get revenge on you, the flaws of vengeance.
Songs About Death: recent loss of a loved one, wishing death on someone, death around the world, death from hate crimes, suicide, death personified.
Songs About Money: getting money, losing money, having old money, never having money, growing up in poverty, dreaming of making it big, how money ruined your life, how money could change your life, the future of money, a cool story about money, what money does to people.
Songs About Pain: being afraid, being abused, getting over trauma, how to avoid trauma, accepting your trauma, being anxious, breaking up, losing a friend, losing a family member, losing a job, health problems, emotional trauma.
Songs About Social Politics: social justice, racism, unity, elections, peace on earth, end world hunger, fix national debt, social media.
Songs About Inspiration: finding your purpose, religion, working hard for your dreams, getting educated, finding joy in your day-to-day.
Do I want my song in a major or minor key?
What key do I want my song to be in?
How many verses, if any?
Do I want this song to be a freestyle?
Do I want this song to have a hook only?
Do I want this song to completely change the mood mid-song?
What tempo or BPM do I want for this song?
Do I want this song to include a key change?
How many people do I want on this song with me?
Do I want to rap smoothly?
Do I want to rap aggressively?
Do I want to sing or do spoken word in certain or all sections?
What genre do I want this song to be influenced by?
What instruments do I want to be spotlighted in this song?
What era of time do I want this song to be reminiscent of?
How do I want people to feel after hearing this song?
Who will I be speaking to for this song?
Who will I be speaking as in this song?
Related Post: Here's a Songwriting Template to get you started.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her recent collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
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