Writers Block : Lyric writing

The clock is ticking – your tapping your pen and foot vigorously, and you begin to frown so that your brain squeezes out the words that will solve everything. It doesn’t work, so you start to think about quitting because, “are words really that important, No one really listens to what is being sung right?”…

Writers block can be painful. Lyric writing can be a tedious and effortless task. Sometimes you have too many syllables and not enough rhyme and other times you spurt out something that is just too cringey!

Whether you’re writing in your rehearsal in Bristol, finishing your final rhyme for upcoming studio time in Cardiff or planning a Birmingham practice, Pirate Studios is here to encourage all of those songwriters, lyric writers and creative individuals who are thinking about lyric writing.

We have 5 tips that can help cure the worst case of writers block and regain clarity within the writing process:

1. Cut and Stick it will do the trick

If you want to stop writing about your heartaches and regrets, and instead want to throw together some post-modern and abstract imagery then the Dadaist cutting and sticking method is the one for you.

This approach has aided artists such as Thom Yorke, Chris Martin and David Bowie in writing some of their best works. If you are used to writing about typical topics e.g. Love, loss and rejection, the Dadaist approach is product of randomness which creates depth, excitement and it can change how music is interpreted.

To attempt this method, you will need to grab a pile of random books, a pair of scissors and an envelope. For the best outcome pick a diverse selection of novels, fiction and non- fiction books and dig out last week’s newspaper – the more diverse the better. If you are struggling to find such things then go to a second hand store, book shop and search intensely around the house.

When you have collected an odd array of books – cut out a selection of different words shake them around in an envelope, spill them out on the kitchen table or your bedroom floor and begin to craft autonomous worlds and characters.

This method can feel strange at first but it will inspire you and lead your writing style down all sorts of bizarre and descriptive routes. We are intelligent beings we want to share our heartaches, knowledge and experiences, but sometimes you can take personal memories and stories and mix them up with abstract approaches like this to enhance and re-create their realities.

2. Know your word types

The Dadaist method is useful; but over time start identifying your randomness so you use a healthy balance of Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs and adverbs, and of course conjunctions and articles (and, the, an). Be aware and familiar with the types of words that you are using and eventually it will be a natural default to use a broader palette.

To some this may sound too basic and to others really confusing, it may even take you back to your school years, but it can be helpful to those who slip into using the similar descriptions and topics.

3. Do some homework

Do some solid research. It’s not about copying exactly what others have done, but instead acknowledging their success and skill. Pick 4 different genres and artists, print off lyric sheets and study different rhyming schemes.

4. Listen to the world around you

If your sitting on a bus, walking through the street or in general transit, tune into the loud talkers, pick a word that you hear and type it in your phone.

It might not always be the most successful method, but sometimes you can here a word that can make your brain go crazy. Targeting different social environments means you will be exposed to different people, which could lead to creating a unique tale.

Note – If you are not the subtle type or don’t want to come across invasive, try different channels on the TV. Pick a documentary on Ancient Egypt, then a soap opera and mix them up.

5. Learn from the best

Research some of your favourite artists and see how they have done it – focus on a individual track and see how they have delivered certain words, analyse and interpret the message and see if you can create something that has a similar flow and rhyme.

These are just a few steps to cure the classic songwriters syndrome. There are lots of other ways to stimulate the brain like visiting a new place or country, collaborating with a poet or lyricist like Elton John and Bernie Taupin and also using apps such as word pallet and Oblique that are free to download from the Itunes App store!

The main thing is don’t give up. Pirate Studios believe that practice always makes perfect. Our practice rooms love to be filled with creativity, innovation and passion, so give these 5 tips a go you never know what could happen! – no rhyme intended…