I used to write in my teens and early 20's a lot, I was inseparable from a musical instrument (mainly guitar). I'm in my late 20's now and a lot of life has gotten in the way since then, but it was mainly just hearing the garbage on the radio that has only exacerbated since (and this is not a "music sucks now" debate, but you cannot deny that the music that gets credit these days has become very uninspired and flat and does not favor a musicians world). I've had a couple of spurts here and there, but listening back to some old stuff I used to listen to got me really wanted to get back into writing again. The only problem is....how?

It was very easy to write a song when I was depressed or angry at something when I was younger, but now happier and more content and I cannot write happy songs (at least not lyrically). I used to drink a lot and messed around with drugs and stuff, which always facilitated my writing and experimenting a great amount, but I'm not going back to those days (though they were fun). I still have a few drinks every now and then, but that's not an acceptable staple to me. I just sit down with a guitar or at a piano, ready to write, and I find myself not being able to come up with anything, just playing the old songs I've written. I have a lot of material from in between that I've always wanted to record, and I have the means to do so now, but once I sit down to do it I get bogged down with thinking how long it will take (my songs are usually like 6-10 mins long with a bit going on musically and I'd be recording all the parts myself) which isn't the problem, it's more of thinking that it will never become anything, which doesn't really concern me anymore since I'm not looking to be some bigtime artist like I used to.

I guess you can say I have the ambition to write/record, just not the inspiration, if that makes sense. Sorry for the drawn out post, just wanted you guys to know where I'm coming from. What do you guys do to really get the juices flowing? How do you decide what to write about (lyrically)? How do you guys get yourselves out of the box of playing around with the same chord progression and such?
I get where you're coming from man. Got all the drive in the world, but no inspiration. I am just getting out of a similar rut, so I may not be the best help lol. What I found to help me was to quit pushing it and go with the flow. If no writing or inspiration came, I didn't fight it and try to force music out of myself. Pretty soon life kicked my ass once or twice and I had plenty of inspiration.

Also, kudos to you for still sticking with music. I've known guys who get in a rut and quit for good (playing and writing wise)
you're never as free as when you are lost
In It Might Get Loud, Jack White talks about music coming out of conflict, and that if you don't have that conflict within you you have to make one up. For lyrics, maybe reach outside of personal experience and find an issue that you care deeply about, but may not directly affect you. Try to put yourself in the head of someone that is does affect directly, and in a very intense way. Just a thought.

Musically- try some different tunings on your guitar. Downtune, try open tunings... try a couple new pedals. Make it sound different, and different sounds might come to you.
Try a hook - simple everyday phase - like see ya later - or those we the days -

keep playin simple chord progression - somthing that flows with the hook
, every other time throw in a phrase form 'the hip'
- record of course
- go back and write the lyrics you came up with on the imprompto
- remove the hook from the entire thing keep the phrases
-Chorus - pick out your best phrase set - throw in a variance on the hook as a term...see ya later = later man = see ya...
- rinse and repeat...

makes a good start to getting down a song
I always try listening to something new or challenging. Then I try to figure out what, if anything I find compelling about the material. If I find nothing compelling about the song, I have fun "fixing" the song. Or basically how I would write it if I wanted it to sound awesome. If I found something compelling about the song, I just steal that and try to incorporate in something. This is pretty much how I've always written music honestly.