Letting pro-nouns get loose on you. You have to make sure that the antecedent of each pronoun is clear. All of the “she’s”, “he’s” and “its” have to clearly refer to the intended object or person. The pro-nouns mistake I see in a lot of lyrics by young writers are such a turn off for me, and even if it is a great song with great story, I still feel awkward about it as a whole because I am already turned of by those mistakes. I mean, come on! English is not even my main language and until a few years ago I couldn’t even speak English, but I still don’t have those kind of armature mistakes in my songwriting. Not because now I am good at English, but simply because I do care about what I am writing, and I respect the language enough to pay attention to its details and follow its rules!
Saying the same thing in the second verse that you said in the first verse. Don’t just re-word the first verse to make verse two. Yes, that is the easy when and you can get a song done much faster this way but remember, you want to get a “great” song done not just a “quick” song. Give me something new. Take the idea to another place in second verse, maybe look at the story from another point of view or get into a conclusion from what happen in the first verse. Maybe sound different yet relevant.
Rambling. Most of the time, if you don’t know what you are trying to say from the start, you will ramble. That’s why I suggest doing a map of your song as soon as you come up with an idea. Write a one sentence summary for each section of the song. Then you know precisely what you are trying to say, and you can stay on track much more easily. If we don’t have a plan when we start writing, we might get in, and forget where we wanted to go. We might think about the story for hours and days and when we start, while writing we end up being in a different track that we had just came up with. It can be good to go that road but, in most cases,, it is not as good as the original idea. Because the original idea had been with us for days or even weeks and we had been working on it in the background of our thoughts and it is a matured idea now. The new story is just born. It is not as detailed as the old one, at least in most cases.
Not saying anything significant. You want your listeners to feel something or have some reaction. If the response you get when you play your song for someone is a polite, “That’s nice”, then you probably haven’t moved them in any way. Be sure you are saying something that people care to hear. When you read a book or watch a movie, you are waiting for a conclusion. To learn something or to feel something. Otherwise what is the point of watching or reading those? Nothing separates music from the same concept. Your song needs to have something. Either a message or an emotion to pass it to your listener in any way. Happy or sad. Hype them or make them feel down. That is pretty much about how you want it to be, but the general rule is that you must provide something. You can choose what that “something” would be.