Whether it comes through inspiration or perspiration, songwriting can be a very rewarding and at times, frustrating activity. Especially, if you are trying to make your living by it. How does one go about creating a lyric, a melody and a rhythm out of thin air? By paying attention to people and life. Here are three tips to stockpiling ideas for songs.
1. A journal can be your best friend. Write down everything that makes you pause and say, "Hmm," As someone says a particular eloquent phrase to you, something in a book you're reading causes you to question. For me, it could be something such as a word or a lyric being sung that gives me an entirely different thought that the song I'm listening to is conveying. Songwriting is helping the listener verbalize feelings. No matter if it's love, anger or gettin' the party started! Also, journalling is good for the soul. You really can work out some emotional angst if you journal.
2. In my experiences of writing, I listen. I listen with my ears and my eyes. I listen to what people say, watch how they move and develop my own theory about why things are this or that. Or I could absolutely let my imagination run away with me.
3. Read good books. If you are a Christian writer, read THE Good Book, The Bible. The book of Psalms are songs. Go figure. King David was a harp player promoted to King. A Musician as King? Only in God's economy.
Books can take us to many places inside our own imagination by way of someone else's, so pack your suitcase!
"My style of songwriting is influenced by cinema. I'm a frustrated filmmaker. A fan once said to me, 'Girl, you make me see pictures in my head!' and I took that as a great compliment. That's exactly my intention." Joni Mitchell