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.
Again, not many artists are interested in getting up every night on stage and singing about being a cheater, a drunk, a jerk in general or any negative thing. People buy less t-shirts from cheaters, drunks and jerks. The artists want the audience to think they are hip and cool people. Paint them any other way and your chances go down to almost zero.
Safe people are people that aren’t going to hold it against you if you play them a bad song and they most probably will tell you what they think is wrong with your song and even they might give you some suggestions to make your song better. You can consider their opinion, work on your craft and then show it to them again and see what they will tell you. Publishers are not safe people. They usually give you one chance and it is best for you to use your that one chance wisely.
Just think of how many love ballads you can write with the famous quote of “Offer them something they can’t refuse” from the Mafia movie, The Godfather! Totally unrelated yet can easily turn it into at least 5 or 6 great songs. And this is even much easier to do with the romantic movies. Just keep watching and keep your ears sharp for catching some awesome lines from the classic movies.
my writing, I took another look at that song and realized that the feedback I got was not good at all. I’ve since discovered the reason for the weak feedback. The organization that I had gotten feedback from hired people to do feedback who had never had cuts. They were aspiring writers who were struggling and needed a paycheck, not professionals or hit songwriters who knew what they were talking about. Over the years, I have found these thoughts to be helpful in interpreting feedback on my songs: