I think I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I write so much stuff on here that it’s probably buried somewhere within the 2+ years of blogging I’ve done on this site.
What I’m referring to is the way in which I write songs. Actually, I think I’ve mentioned HOW I write them, but I’ve never mentioned just how darn sporadic it is.
There are many artist who write something almost every day, while there are others who write on and off until they have an album’s worth of material. And then you have artist like me, who does neither of those things.
Instead, the way in which I write is usually concentrated within a certain amount of time. What will usually happen is this: right after I release an album, I’m so burned out from having to think up creative ideas that I get sick of writing. Sure, I may have concepts floating around in my head for the direction of my next project, but the actual writing comes to a complete halt.
When this happens, I’ll usually avoid writing something for a while. This could be anywhere from 2 to 10 months, depending on the other things I have going on in my life and/or if I have any other non-music projects going on.
But then, at some point, I’ll be doing something mundane like washing the dishes or going for a walk, and all of a sudden I’ll have an idea for a song. I usually carry around a pen or a piece of paper in case this happens. When it does, I’ll usually be able to put together a chorus and at least 2 or 3 verses right there on the spot.
This action usually signals to me that I’m ready to get back to song-writing again. Once I’m in song-writing mode, I can usually go a full 2 or 3 months thinking of idea after idea.
I’ll usually try to think up catchy song-titles first – ya know, the thing people first see when they’re researching your songs to see if they want to play them or not – and arrive at the lyrics later. Yes, this part may seem backwards, but often I find that if I have a title and catchy chorus first ,I’m able to figure out a theme to write to. Me being a guy with a degree in theater, this is the easiest way I’ve learned how to write, and so far it’s done wonders for me.
As for the lyrics, I don’t write the lyrics for one song all at one time, or in order. There have been times where I’ll write a verse, then work on completely different song, work on a beat, then go back to the first song to finish it up. As for writing order, I tend to write the second verse of songs FIRST. For me, it’s easier to figure out where the song is coming from and going to if I have the middle part written out beforehand. Again, not all songs are written like this, but the majority of them are.
When I’m in song-writing mode, I’m also aware of the fact that, at some point, I will once again NOT be in song-writing mode. So when I am, I write as much stuff as I possibly can. That way, if I want to release another project I’ll have songs to draw from that I wrote when I was still IN song-writing mode.
And then, the cycle repeats itself: I release another album, the song-writing mode goes away for a while, and I wait around for it to come back. The end.