Writer's block - n - A usually temporary psychological inability to begin or continue work on a piece of writing; a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece of writing.
We all get it now and then, don't we? Sitting there, trying to find words to express what we're feeling, or just trying to find inside ourselves what we are going to write about. Well, here are a few ways that helped me get through these "tough times" as the guitarist/singer/lyricist for my band.
01. Write A Story?!
Write a story. It doesn't have to be an epic novel [unless you really want it to be]. I find that I can write what fictional characters are feeling better than what I can myself. Therefore, I'm actually expressing myself indirectly. Some people write stories better than songs. I find that in my stories I can become more descriptive, yet more understandable while writing short stories. Now, that doesn't mean you've got to pull a Coheed & Cambria on us and write out a saga, but writing a story (whether its scifi, horror, romance, etc) can help us express our feelings better than in song. This story can be translated on over to song. I know what you're thinking now. "But then it would be more like talking, because nothing would really rhyme!" That leads me to another aid in my defense against this ridiculousy annoying lyricist's "disease".
02. Don't Feel Forced To Rhyme
"Hmmm...lets see, am I going with this rhyme scene, or the other?.....CRAP, I DID A,B,B,A ON THIS AND A,B,A,B ON THIS?!****!" I've felt this before. And then I realized that not all songs rhyme. There are many vocalists out there that don't rhyme at all in some songs. Throw all of your notes over different rhyme scenes and list of words that rhyme away. Write out the words as you want them, and don't worry about if they rhyme or not. If the lyrics are good, and fit in nicely in the structure of the song, its hard to notice that the lyrics aren't rhyming.
03. Rhyming 101
Contradicting partially #2, sometimes, it just feels right to rhyme. I'll get a sheet of paper, and write down words that relate the what the subject/theme of the song is. Then I write down words that rhyme with these words. Or like some vocalists, bend the pronounciation of certain words. I'm not saying bend "dog" until it sounds like "navy seal" or something absurd like that, but certain words can be "bent" until they rhyme with the previous one. You can also try to rhyme just the vowels in words together. The vowel gets stressed the most in many words, and so that links many words to another. So what that this word ins in "w" and this one in "r", the long "O" sound makes each word sound similiar.
04. Dictionaries & Thesaurus's Galore
Who hasn't done this?! I mean, I know sometimes, when I'm going through a song, I would love to find another synonym for a certain word. Or, I can skim through a dictionary, and find a word that catches my eye. I memorize the definition, thus expanding my vocabulary, which in turn enhances my songwriting capability. Don't feel like you're cheating by doing this. Although, I'm not saying get every word for a song straight out of the dictionary. Because it can really end up sounding weird and geeky because you're sputtering out all of these insanely long words that you just learned the meaning to, but can connect with everyday life. Don't overuse it, don't abuse it. But I do recommend doing this sometimes.
05. Write About Actual Experiences
Not only is it misleading, but its just plain stupid to write about experiences that haven't happened yet. Don't write about death, suicide, drugs-IF YOU HAVEN'T EVEN GOTTEN CLOSE TO THESE THINGS Because not only can it distort the true feeling of this certain emotion, but others who can honestly relation to this situation are going to prove you wrong. Believe me, I've seen it happen.
06. Pencil Vs Pen Vs Mouse
I think its overall better to write with a pencil/pen than a mouse. Why? Because, I feel, and many agree with me, that feeling is sometimes just better expressed on paper. I've found out that my lyrics on the computer are 10x worse than the lyrics in my notebook. The feeling just seems to come to you and you can just write freely. I prefer, to use pen over pencil, though, because with the pen, the writing is a lot more smooth and relaxed [in my opinion].
07. Recent Events & Freewriting / Blind-Writing
Think about whats been happening in your life lately. Shattered relationship? Death in the family? Angry with politics? This can help you choose a subject. Just make sure the subject fits the song. Imagine if Stairway To Heaven was written about something else...lets say the song was about and was titled "Incest With My Grandmother: Vol IV"...I doubt it would have gotten anywhere then, don't you? Make sure the lyrics fit comfortably in the song. Also, try freewriting, or as some may know it, blind-writing. Simply get a sheet of paper, a pen/pencil, close your eyes and write about whats been happening in your life lately. What you write doesn't have to be sentences. Doesn't even have to be a phrase. Just keep writing [DON'T STOP] and write down every single word that comes to your mind when you are thinking about this subject/theme.
08. Instruments Then Lyrics, Or Lyrics Then Instruments?
This is easily explained. See which more your comfortable with. Writing the lyrics, then doing the instrumentation, or vice-versa. This can be helpful, believe it or not. Sometimes, the sound of the instruments can spark your train of though to write certain lyrics, or certain lyrics can make you feel compelled to write a certain sounding riff/line/beat solo to it.
There are plenty more ways, but I hope these help you! Good Luck!