Winehouse, Elton John, Stormzy, Bowie - there's many UK lyricists that inspire us. These artists seem to be able to write entire collections of poems without every suffering from writer's block.

And yet, we quickly understand that writing the lyrics of our favorite melodies is really hard work, effort, and sometimes, lack of inspiration does happen. But that moment of inspiration - finding that special chorus or verse - is what makes songwriting so special.

All the greatest lyricists will tell you discipline is key. There are little tricks and techniques to make your compositions better though!

To be a songwriter, you have to do more than make a beautiful melody or create a good sound - writing lyrics can sometimes be a highly stressful and structured process.

Here are our tips for finding inspiration when you're wondering how to write music!

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Writing Songs: Find Your Inspiration through Different Memories

Between a good rhyme and a rhythm worthy of a poem, not all song lyrics are made equal, but they all have one thing in common: their verse, chorus, melody or sound is memorable. It may even be what defines a good song.

And among the themes most touched upon in songs, memories have a predominant place. Of course, what better way to find inspiration than the past?

A break-up, a love story, a happy moment in life, a friendship anecdote, a great encounter, there are a thousand and one possible subjects you can use when you want to write a song about the past.

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You can record your own songs and listen back to them (Source: Unsplash)

The advantage of the past is often that it is inexhaustible, that it is personal, intimate, and, as such, it is bound to yield an embodied and rich song. Trying to write a song about the past is also like trying to write a song about yourself. As a result, the inspiration will only be greater.

You can also think of writing a song about past but universal subjects: a current event, a significant event, sad or happy, etc. There are countless themes to consider when writing with memory.

Memories give a melodic and personal tone to a composition, and for that reason alone, they are a very good source of inspiration.

The key is to just try out different storylines and see what sticks. One tip you can use is to think of one moment in your life and brainstorm all the possible words for that moment: adjectives, verbs, nouns and more.

Use Other Art for Inspiration

Of course, if the past does not interest you, it is possible to find inspiration elsewhere. As they say, life imitates art - but in this case, art imitates art. In other words: use the creations of others.

Whether it's music by rappers, books, films, podcasts, articles - inspiration can be found everywhere, all the time, as long as you remember one thing: you're writing a song that belongs to you, and that isn't someone else's.

Plagiarism is therefore totally forbidden, as well as the borrowing of general ideas.

When we talk about finding inspiration in others, it's all about finding themes, a musicality, a mood, a lyric, before you even start writing lyrics. However, creative license doesn't mean copying.

While creative juices may flow easier when using your favorites as inspiration, you just have to take a look at all the different lawsuits that have taken place regarding plagiarism.

This is also the reason why writing new songs with inspiration is nowadays an even more delicate exercise than before. Everything seems to have been written, but rest assured: it hasn't! At least, not with your creative twist.

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Singing live can be nerve-wracking (Source: Unsplash)
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Finding Inspiration in Travel for Songwriting

What makes a good chorus? Is making songs worth it? How are the lyrics worked out? So many questions, more or less relevant, which all come together around one issue: the sources of inspiration.

To find the right idea, we're sometimes tempted to sit at our desk and string together sentences like we string together essays or emails, hoping that our pen will find it's way to an awesome hook or title. What if we tried to do the opposite?

Indeed, by moving away from your work plan, your home, your habits, inspiration could perhaps come.

Travelling is a great way to start as it forces you to step out of your comfort zone, which is always where we learn to be our most creative.

To escape and open up to the world can, for some composers, be a relevant experience used to compose a song. From the verse to the chorus, music written in a plane or in a far away destination sometimes allows to take a step back, and to get away from life's daily worries, to reach more universality.

Something that might help is to remember: the music that will connect with audiences are those that either deal with emotions they've dealt with before or those that the audience wishes they would have.

Moreover, travelling allows you to soak up smells, flavours and colours which, depending on the destination, can make a great verse, an entire song and maybe even an album!

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Practice Creative Writing to Find Inspiration

Do you know about free form writing? In concrete terms, it's a simple technique that consists of sitting down in front of your writing sheet of paper and transcribing everything that comes to mind. This can be trivial thoughts, as well as deeper reflections. Everything, everything, everything!

Almost like dreaming or automatic writing, free writing almost allows you to empty your mind onto a blank sheet of paper, without worrying about rhymes, conjugation or copyright.

To record your thoughts in this process, free and full, can spark an idea that might have been buried deep inside you.

After this exercise, the most important thing is to reread everything you've written, and to keep only those ideas that can be developed. Of course, you will need to work these ideas into a good lyric. Sometimes there are none, sometimes there are some that could be the subject of future song lyrics, who knows?

This is not a last resort solution, but a support for some cluttered minds, who have difficulty composing music. It's also a great process to practice if you're in need of a little relax time. Friends of inspiration, free writing is perhaps made for you!

Songwriting: Taking Time to Find Inspiration for Your Music

So, to review, free form writing could help you tackle one of the greatest challenges in your music career: setting aside time to write

Of course, by freeing up an hour, a half-day, a weekend, to create a song, inspiration can come. Again, while you may have an idea for a catchy chorus or verse, songwriting is nothing without discipline.

Sometimes very beautiful things are born of constraint. While writing that award winning chorus might seem like it came from a brief moment of inspiration, everything requires some level of production, recording, know-how and more.

Don't forget that making use of some references like the rhyming dictionary can help!

Taking time out of your day that's not just in the production process, such as recording or editing, but for actually crafting lyrics can help put you on the right track to being a lyrical genius.

You can also set up rituals or routines each week to get your mind in condition to deliver the most beautiful song. A cup of tea, a moment of reading beforehand, a walk, etc.

It is also possible to take some time to meditate, and clear all the extraneous thoughts from your mind. You know how stressful life can be, but writing can definitely help with that.

To meditate, try to only keep the memories or fleeting thoughts that seem to be the most interesting musically. This is a very good mental exercise that you can practice even without wanting to write the next song to top the charts!

Nevertheless, inspiration is not always a natural born gift and for many people, it can be learned. Yes, writing or composing a song is sometimes more prosaic than it seems!

As you can see, if inspiration depends on each person, each composer, in reality, there can be some useful tips when inspiration escapes. Take your guitar, put yourself at the piano, and let the text of the song escape for you: perhaps you will be able to write easily. Now it's your turn!

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Dan

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