Getting inspired to sit down and write a song may be the hardest step. Where do you begin? What do you write about? What is even considered a song? So many questions and so little time! Here, I will break down the main inspirations for my songwriting process. As a high schooler with extracurricular activities, I am not able to devote as much time to writing as I’d like to. But for me, songwriting is a side hustle where most inspiration hits me during school! Sit down and grab some popcorn because it’s one hell of a ride!
Memories can be a touchy subject, but so is your 3 hour shower playlist, so in the end it’s okay! There is a reason for why you remember your first heartbreak or concert: it was an experience that had significance in your life. For me, memories are easiest to write about because they happened in the past. But how can you transform a memory into a song? By describing the memory vividly. Ask yourself: what color shirt did I wear? What did I say to him after our breakup? Jotting down every single detail slowly builds a storyboard for your song lyrics to draw upon.
Use this song I wrote as an example. I used my mom’s actual advice as the inspiration!
My mother said
drop the ones
that you couldn’t love again
When I search for inspiration, I listen to music. Even if I’m not, my music is playing in the background constantly. Creating a playlist of artists or songs that share a theme with my song really help get me in the zone. For example, do you love heartbreak songs? Make a playlist with songs by Ed Sheeran and Adele! Listening to a themed playlist will help you understand the main topics they bring up and the message they are attempting to convey.
Don’t sit for too long
Forget sitting down with your ukulele and depending on your brain to write lyrics! Writer’s block hits the hardest when you’re sedentary! Get up, walk around your room and just mumble words. I find myself walking to my next class mumbling phrases that come seemingly out of nowhere.
One last time…write down everything!
Don’t forget to write down anything that you think has potential, especially those ideas that come to you when you’re walking around! I always write lyrics in my French notebook – sorry about that Madame Pang. The idea is to capture every. Single. Idea! Even if you think it’s cliche or lame, it could come in handy later. Quickly write them down anywhere you will come across it again and get back to learning about polynomials – Sorry Mr. Grice! When you encounter a roadblock, go back to those notes and develop lyrics from them. The process can be slow, but sometimes it can also flow effortlessly!
Diary Entry #2
As you can see from my header, we have began the second page of the diary! I wanted it more simple, so my photos (memories I have) can stand out more. All over my collage, there are poems and paragraphs that spoke to me, as they illustrate emotions I went through or have written a song about.
Don’t rush the journey to finish a song. I wrote a song in 8th grade and only recently finished it. Songwriting is an open book, with a steady stream of blank pages that will eventually be filled. Still in bed? Me too! Eventually, get out and start your adventure and have fun with writing. I will see you in the next entry of Teenage Fever!