Here's a little help for beginner Lyric Writers. You'll probably hate me a little after reading this. But take a moment and think for just a sec... When you sit down with your pen in hand, you probably try to think of a song idea that no one has EVER written before - more often than not - and then get frustrated when you can't think of anything, right?
Have you ever wondered why this happens?
It's because there's nothing new to write about. Yeah, It's true! The truth is the world has existed long before we got here - and music has existed for almost as long as people have been around.
...and it's all been done, my friend!
Every situation you're going through has been lived through by someone else. Every feeling you have has been experienced by other people. And every idea you'll ever think of has been made into a song at least a dozen times. So you're not going to think of anything new to write...sorry but it'll never happen.
Now be honest...You want to write about an idea that's totally new because you think "unique idea = great song". I don't mean to turn your world upside-down (well, yeah I do), but songwriting is NOT about thinking of new ideas or impressing others...and most of the time "unique ideas" = "terrible songs".
I need you to check your ego before you begin your next lyrics project! Stop trying to outdo every writer before you - and every song before yours. That's not what songwriting is about. Songwriting is not about you...not really. Songwriting is about giving people a way to 'connect' to other people through a COMMON idea, feeling or situation. That's why unique ideas make terrible songs...because not many people can relate to them.
When you write lyrics, you build an "emotional bridge" people can walk across to meet each other - or meet you. And only when they can achieve that emotional connection do they thank you for writing the song. So "common (old) ideas = great songs".
"But how do you make an old idea into a new song that's all your own?"
Well I have a funny magnet on my refrigerator that reads: "You're unique...just like everyone else." It's meant as a joke, but it's 100% true. Here's the message, even though many have gone through what you're going through - and have felt what you're feeling - no one will ever see life through your eyes or explain it the way you can.
In a nutshell, songwriting can be summed up by asking yourself 1 question: "how can YOU tell the same story in YOUR voice; paint the same picture with YOUR hand?" So use an old idea to write your lyrics! I guarantee your songs will be unique each and every time you write.
Take care!Joshua May