How To Finish Your Song Lyrics

Sep 04, 2021

It’s so easy to get stuck while writing a song.

Especially if you care deeply about the quality of your lyrics, getting stuck can easily become the norm.

In this post, we’re going to go over some ways to push past the blockers and keep writing.

 

Take A Step Back

As I mentioned in the post on how to finish a song when you’re stuck musically, sometimes it helps to take a step back.

We can get so mired in the details that we forget where the song is going.

You might be so concerned about writing the first line of your bridge that you forget to actually think through what the point of the bridge is.

It seems simple, but this can make a world of difference.

What is the end of the story that your song is telling?

What is the climax of the story? 

Sometimes we’re just stuck on lyrics because we don’t know what we’re trying to say.

Every part of a song has a job. Every lyric is advancing the story of your song. 

So take a step back and look at the arc of your entire song.

How should each verse, pre-chorus, chorus, post-chorus, bridge, and finale move the story along that arc?

Taking the time to do this can give you immense clarity and help you push past writer’s block.

 

Figure Out What Change You Need

Sometimes we just need change.

We like good plot twists in movies. We like that feeling of sudden clarity. We like that feeling that everything has changed.

Sometimes we need a twist or change up within our song. 

Maybe you need to change the perspective of the song. In Vertical Horizon’s Everything You Want, the singer changes from “He’s everything you want” to “I’m everything you want” in the final chorus. 

The whole song he pretended as if he was simply telling a story in the 3rd person. 

But, in the end, he cries out that the person who is everything you want is him.

Plot twist. Love it. 

You might need a type of plot twist as well. Maybe you thought the message of the song was one thing, but realize it should be something different.

Maybe your song was originally going to be about a man coming to terms with his life choices on his deathbed, but you decide to tell the same story from the perspective of someone planning to end their own life.

The idea of reflecting on one’s life at the end remains the same, but the difference between someone unwillingly being at the end and choosing for this to be the end is massive.

 

Be Patient

Songwriting takes time. Just because your song only has 200 words doesn’t mean it won’t take months to finish.

You have to be patient. Second verses can be incredibly difficult to write so they aren’t the afterthought verse.

They need to match the same syllables and rhyme scheme as the first verse, but have totally different lyrics!

This is obviously a bigger challenge than writing a completely new part of your song.

Be patient. Do it right. It might take a while, but that’s ok. That’s why you should never write only one song at a time.

 

Don’t Be Afraid To Tear Down and Rebuild

You know what’s super annoying? When you have to destroy something you made and start over.

Unfortunately, we sometimes need to do this in our songwriting.

You might have a chorus you love but verses that sound like you threw them together in 5 minutes.

No matter how much editing you’ve done, it feels like they’re just a different level of annoyingly average.

You might just need to throw it out and start over.

Don’t actually erase the old version (never delete anything you write!), but put it aside and start fresh. 

You may write something much better just by letting go of your original version. 

Don’t be afraid to let go. Don’t be afraid to tear something down that isn’t good. Don’t be afraid to move on from something that can’t be edited into something good.

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