Always write true statements. People can’t argue with truth. It’s real and affects people, even if they don’t like it, it affects them. Even if you’d want to use metaphors in your lyrics, use them the way that sounds real. Stay away from unnecessary exaggerations and be frank with yourself, defining if you’re writing real or just trying to be clever.
Write the songs truth and not your truth. If you start out writing a song about something in your life that has happened. A breakup, etc; don’t insist on writing your own story exactly the way that happened. Maybe your own story be the perfect fit, but it is not a “must” to use your story if it is not that impactful. The song is going to have its own heart and soul and you must learn to follow the song’s truth. Again, this is a subtle difference but one of the most powerful things to remember. The song is the king. Always. Learn to listen for the truth in the song. Letting go and being flexible will make you a better writer.
Follow your voice. Every successful writer I know has a voice. Not a singing voice, but an inner voice. A style of writing that is unique to only them. And it is the most honest place a writer can come from. It’s a deep real place. How do we find our voice? By experimenting. Writing as much as you can and paying attention to the way your songs affect the people who hear them. We are not an island. We need feedback to grow, so play your songs for your peers, band mates, or co-writers and think about the feedback they give you. Compare it with your initiation of writing that song and find out how close the result is to the voices you had in your head. The closer you get, means the better you’re delivering your message.
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