After a writer's block of at least ten years, this guitarist is "ready" to move on with writing and recording the songs that lurk inside me.
My initial approach is diving back into my folders of lyrics, seeing what leaps out as having potential, and polishing those. Then once I have a lyric I like, I come up with the vocal melody and write the rest of the song around it.
Overcoming my procrastination is like peeling an onion. Now I'm back in the thick of things, I can see common themes for sure. My lyrics are generally quite bleak, about the struggles between heart and mind, and between the chemicals that make us do goofy stuff, with the knowledge that it may not be not a great idea, with some existentialist / nihilist stuff thrown in to lighten the mood ;).
Some of my concerns:
- My songs are too similar. Then again, this never stopped AC/DC.
- My style is somewhat stream-of-consciousness, a braindump. I don't feel I use enough rich description / metaphors. Then again, nor do Helmet.
- Most of my lyrics are drafts, written whilst "in the moment". But time has passed, and I don't feel the initial inspiration as strongly as I did then. For each one, how can I decide whether to polish it, or archive it (probably never to be seen again)?
My inspirations include Neil Peart (Rush being the first band where the lyrics ever touched me) and Steven Wilson (been a Porcupine Tree fan since 2000, he always seemed to write what I was thinking).
With this in mind:
- How can I polish my lyrics to the point where I'm happy with them?
- Or should I just accept that they'll never truly be "finished" in order to proceed and break through the procrastination barrier?
- What are the "boxes that you tick" in order to say "I have a viable song here"?
NB Sure, it's subjective, nonetheless I believe that we can share valuable insights on the topic. I guess that all songwriters have "systems" that you use to deal with these issues, whether they realize it or not.