What are you reading?Vic Lewis VL wrote:So far inspiration has resolutely denied any attempt at writing songs.
I found that sometimes the lack of output is because of lack of input.
What works for me is to have a bunch of books going at once and reading a couple a pages a day from each.
The types of books I am referring to are "Quote of the Day" or bigger works broken down into daily readings, but to also keep a novel going in the background in life's wait times of the routine.
I've also tried reading a lot of songwriting books from "how-to's" to biographies.
........but then again there are times when it just isn't coming. Like I've mentioned, Sundays are much better times for me to write than starting Monday nights after a day of work life.
Here are some things I try when we get a new topic:
Think of a flash of inspiration....if nothing then
Think literally of the elements of the assignment....if nothing then
Think symbolically of the elements of the assignment....if nothing then
Google some quotes about the topic....if nothing then
Google some pictures about the topic....if nothing then
Grab a guitar and start noodling around....record any interesting tidbits....if nothing more then
Go through a book of song titles I bought (Here are 12 free preview pages)
http://www.freado.com/read/8163/song-id ... -lyricists
Go back and reread the topic....if nothing then
Look through my books of topics or stories might tie in....if nothing then
Look through on-line rhyming dictionaries....if nothing then
Look through my hard copy rhyming dictionary....if nothing then
Read through lyrics of songs unrelated to the topic- this reminds me how the best lyrics are simple and straightforward
Here are some of the books I use
ISBN# 978-0375400810 Reading Lyrics: More Than 1,000 of the Century's Finest Lyrics
ISBN# 978-0375422003 Motown in Love: Lyrics from the Golden Era
ISBN# 978-1437644012 Lyrics by Sting
....if nothing then
Read though lyrics of songs on the same topic ***WARNING*** This is a Pandora's Box for me, sometimes it helps, but sometimes it gets the "other song" stuck in my head
....if nothing then sleep on it. Jot down any ideas that come in the middle of the night and/or first thing in the morning.....and throughout the day
....if nothing then pretty much repeat the same process the next day and the next day and the next. It takes me about 2-3 hours to go through this process.......
.......NOW if I am REALLY stuck by a Saturday night and have nothing, I will have already put 10-15 hours into the attempt to write about the topic.....usually something happens by then, but there have been weeks when nothing came and at the midnight hour, I just forced myself to write the first line of the first verse and keep writing.
Two songs I remember specifically doing this for were:
Y7W52 I Tripped Across Your Father's Spirit Today
...........All of this might sound like torture to some and take away all the "fun/joy" songwriting for others.
This is what works for me (and I really do enjoy the process or I wouldn't bother).
I think each songwriter should piece together their own "method". Sometimes it helps to see what others do to incorporate into their own method.
Andrea Slope has a great step-by-step method in her book ISBN# 978-0876390870 "Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling"
Wishing the best for you, Vic.