Hi, everybody.

I'll try to keep this as succinct as I can, since the issue could be made out to be rather lengthy.

First off, I'm a guitarist of about 1 1/2 years (6 if you don't count the years I didn't start taking music seriously). In that roughly 1 1/2 - 2 year span, it hasn't been uncommon for me to spend 7-8 hours every free day I had grinding theory and applying it as best I could. In light of this, I feel I've come an extraordinarily long way. I have reasonable command over a number of scales and their modes, my chord vocabulary is extensive thanks to a recent infatuation with jazz, etc. But there's one thing I feel I'm missing, the very second I pick the 'tar up and try to write a song of my own: confidence in my songwriting ability. Let me explain this a bit.

When I say confidence, I mean it in such a way that I feel that I never really learned how to write a song, or how to make one functional, so to speak. Being entirely self-taught, I've never had a mentor to ask these questions. I keep asking myself if my tribulations are reasonable and I'm just expecting too much of myself, or if I'm really just behind the musical 8-ball.

When I try to write songs, I notice I come up with licks or phrases I REALLY dig, but from there, I feel I have no idea how to connect that phrase to another part of the song cohesively. I find myself sometimes just coming up with three separate phrases and trying to tie them together, rather than composing a song from the bottom up. I honestly don't know if this is normal or not. Should songwriting ideally be 1-2-3-4-5? Or is it pretty typical to try to tie in separate licks, as in, say, 1-3-4-2-5?

Secondly, I feel as if songwriting shouldn't be as difficult as it is for me. I grind for hours on my 'tar trying to come up with a groove--is this grinding process to be expected? Or should the song and rhythm of the song be more "apparent"? It's frustrating mostly because I don't know if I'm just a currently incapable musician, or if the laborious grind of songwriting is to be expected. Do most musicians just "happen" across good licks/rhythms, or am I not alone in my hours-long quests trying to find an appropriate one for the theme of the song?

Above all else, I guess just some advice on structure would be the most beneficial. Whenever I come up with a good lick or phrase, I just have no idea where to take it. I feel like everything I try to connect to it sounds disjoint. I appreciate any help anyone can give, even if it's just dispelling the notion that I should just be able to effortlessly generate perfectly-suited melodies/harmonies.
well when i make up songs i just start with the main riff or lick and then find chords that fit the key theyre in and make those chords the rhythm for the bass and then i just find another lick that fits well and change the chords to fit that one and then go back,

just pick a scale and key and time and you should be fine, sometimes songs take a long time to make up because you want them to sound really really cool but other times they just come out rock n roll adventure