Like most songwriters and lyricists, you may find yourself at some point or another in a slump that you cannot shake yourself out of. No matter how hard you try, and how hard you push yourself, you stall with the paper and pen in your hand. You have the passion, you have the drive, but the words just are not coming out like they should. There are several techniques that you can use that will make this problem virtually disappear. You can increase your songwriting abilities be more than two-fold by adding these new habits into your routine.
Use Stream of Consciousness Writing
Stream of consciousness writing is a modernist form of writing in which you simply write everything that is on your mind without pausing to think, or worry about spelling, grammar, or flow. If it comes to your mind, then it should be written down immediately. Once every day, pick a quiet spot, or a spot that has a special, creative meaning to you, and take a journal or some paper and a pen. If you prefer a computer or other electronic device, you can take that with you as well. Set a timer for half an hour, and just write everything that you think of. It does not matter what it says, or if it even makes sense. It just needs to come from you. After these thirty minutes are over, you should take your writing, and read it over. Read it over several times, getting a feel for what you were feeling, some of which you might not have even realized. This technique will get into your subconscious, and find the hidden layers of emotion and inspiration that are hidden deep within yourself.
Play a Game!
You can use a songwriting “game” that follows the basic logic of the stream of consciousness technique, but specifies what you are writing much more than stream of consciousness does. In this game, you should first choose a topic. This can be any topic, from wondering about what your next meal is going to be, to falling for your neighbor, to thinking it is too hot outside. Once you have this topic in mind, spend a set amount of time writing down everything that related to that topic. If you chose that it is too hot outside, your words might be something like “sun”, “baking in the heat”, or “sweating”. Your imagination takes over, and the sky is the limit. After the set amount of time is up, organize your words into two categories labeled verse and chorus. For words that are more emotional, and have a deeper impact, place them in the chorus group. If they are more observational, then they should be placed under the verse category. Once this has been completed, combine the words in random combinations, and see if anything clicks for you. Your subconscious may have been hiding your next big idea from you all along, and you just needed a way to pull it out.