Got songs with no lyrics? Ideas without the words to describe them? Here are a few helpful tips to consider on your next songwriting venture:
A: Pick up all the books you've got around you and stack them in front of you cause you're about to be thumbing through them all with this tip. Look for words that you dont say on a day to day basis; words you may have forgotten the meanings to or never even heard. Write them down on a piece of paper however you want to. Now this is not a song. This is a reference sheet for times when you don't quite know what to say or when you don't want to use dumbed-down lyrics. You can look up the definitions if you like as well so you know when and where to use these words. Think eve6 or tool/a perfect circle lyrics. Even though you may not not what the meaning to a word is you find the emotion behind it and understand it regardless.
B: Write down stories or ideas you may have or may be inspired to have through other media (movies, TV, other songs, articles, etc.). Try writing through the eyes of a passerby or through the eyes of the people involved in your story or real life experience. Did you know that the song "Breath" by Disturbed is based on the view of the rapist in an actual newspaper article that David Draiman read before writing that song?!? Also, try writing a story down and write sub- ideas along the way, like footnotes to aid you in expressing the feelings you're picturing the song to have. And don't always stick to just one point of view or one specific time period. Take Metallica's Unforgiven for example. It starts off through the eyes of a young boy in the first verse and then goes to hetfields view for the chorus. Then he moves to the boys eyes again but as a man now (different time period), then through the eyes of his oppressors, and finally admitting that the old man here is me, all within the same 2nd verse. Get it? Then go back to the story you've written and form lyrics from the ideas you've written down, remembering to use your footnotes to keep the songs meaning clear.
C: Keep a pen and a piece of scrap paper in your pocket as often as possible. You never know when a song idea or a random lyric will pop into your head. They don't have to be whole rhyming parts, either. Just phrases will suffice until you have the time to sort it out later. I have tons of pieces of paper with what seems to be just random unrelated thoughts but are actually individual verses and verse/song ideas. Write down things people say or things you read or hear that spark your interest. Chances are they will spark someone elses too and make for a great song.
D: Finally, as an artist (as in drawing) I've found myself able to put to use a technique I sometimes use in drawing. Just put the pen to the paper and go full steam at it. Don't get caught up trying to perfectly rhyme your verses like cat and hat or door and more or something like that. That's what leads to writers block. Try rhyming through sound rather than spelling, like the words sad and flag or see and need, etc. Just go. Fix the details later, just let your feelings come out off of the top of your head. Then go back through these steps again until you're happy with it.
E: Don't be afraid to be vague or to take chances with lyrics that might offend people or confuse them. F-ck what everyone else thinks because they aren't the ones who have to express your feelings. You are. Be you no matter what.
Questions or comments are welcome.