Unlock Every Songwriter’s Secret Through the Art of Storytelling

Are you a songwriter who’s stuck feeling like your lyrics are a little cliche? Here are the secrets to crafting a song that will make you the next hit!

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Some songs come to the artist. They can spend around five minutes stringing together a few chords, writing words down on a notepad of their choruses, verses, and bridges. They might spend the next hour recording and call it a day… Yes, some are that insane. But most of us here who are artists must chase the song.

There’s no one-size-fits-all way of doing it. It’s never the same for any songwriter. But songwriters are like any other writer. They must have a process, whatever it may be, to string a beautiful poem together that speaks to our souls.

How do they make songs we relate to so well? There are too many ways to say how you feel and what you experience. What is the secret ingredient?

Hand writing on a notebook, faded background of a man holding a guitar
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Storytelling in Songwriting

At the heart of any inspirational song is a story. You have to find that feeling, the meaning, and the creative spark inside that gives you a reason for telling your message. Because truly, that is what a story is for, to convey a message in your heart.

Type writer with a paper that says "Once Upon A Time"
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When I say story, I don’t mean write out an entire three act story structure or the 15 beats from Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder (even though this is an amazing tool for story writers). A story can also be a feeling, a scene, a single experience you’d like to share, a lesson you’ve learned. That’s what a story can do. Every writer has a lesson they want to scream from the rooftops. There is no difference for songwriters. They just want to sing it from the rooftops.

Feel The Vibe

One of the best things to add to a song is a theme. This ties into a lot of poetry as it allows you to get more creative with your theme. It can be as simple as love or as complex as a couple trying their best to fix their broken relationship, using the metaphor of a car stuck in traffic (Traffic Lights by Sara Kays). Maybe it’s dreaming of someone and wishing late at night that they are yours, playing out scenes in your head like a movie while staring at the ceiling (Ceilings by Lizzy McAlpine).

Either way, make the vibe match the theme, and you can’t go wrong. Throw metaphors in there. Be creative. Go crazy!

Three people in a producing studio, working on a song
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Where Do I Start?

Writing can be incredibly daunting. Just look at that blank page! It’s mocking you!

Songwriting can be especially frustrating because it’s poetry. It’s all very subjective, based on personal taste. You have to include rhyme, melody, rhythm, and other techniques. It may be even harder because there is not one single way to write a “good” song. There is really no way to quantify a “good” song. You just have to feel it for yourself.

There is one important thing to keep in mind: have a process.

The word "process" in yellow highlighter, in a book.
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Whether it’s writing lyrics first, strumming a few chords on an instrument, or reading poetry on Pinterest, you must have a process to the madness. Suppose you have the instrumentals. Do you plan to start with a chorus, a verse, the beginning, or the end? What sparks your inspiration to automatically transport you into the writing zone? Do you need quiet, or do you need to be out in a park, watching people interact? Whatever the answer is, let it be your own. Make it a process you do every time to spark the best creative mind and form songs you adore.

Write, Just Write!

When you have a hard time getting inspired, write. Write when you don’t feel like writing. If you love it, it will show. You will always have those insecurities that your work sucks and you should stop right then and there. Yet what would that accomplish? You won’t ever get past the bump. You would simply give into the fear that you’re not good enough. And fear likes to take their wins with a plethora of gloating. They kick it into overdrive, holding it over your head for days, years, lifetimes. The only way for you to improve is to write and keep writing!

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If you ever lose your inspiration or feel alone in this journey and lost in your craft, remember this: you may never know how your song will speak to others. But you know what it means to you. And if you can relate to the lessons you’ve learned, then it’s a guarantee someone else can too.


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