7 Effective Tips for Writing Lyrics with Ease and Creativity

by | Apr 15, 2023

Writig lyrics

Do you struggle with writer’s block when you are writing lyrics? You’re not alone, especially when you are learning how to write lyrics as a beginner.

Unlike constructing a building, there is no exact science to writing lyrics during the music production process. Since there are no set rules, it is beneficial to explore every possible ideas to help you through the art of writing lyrics.

Writing lyrics is an art that draws from a blend of creativity, emotion, and storytelling. Those are skills that you can learn and develop with practice, and eventually master the art of writing better lyrics.

In this article, I will dive into the world of writing lyrics and provide you with four useful tips about how to write lyrics when you make songs. Whether you’re a beginner looking to sharpen your skills or an experienced songwriter seeking to overcome writer’s block, these tips will help you unlock your potential and create lyrics that are impactful. 

1. Narrow down the theme of your song to be more specific

When you learn how to write lyrics, a good place to begin is by thinking about a theme for your song. Like stories, song lyrics express a specific theme from the writer’s choice of words.

Narrowing down a theme is one way to come up with lyrics that are more fitting for a song. Song lyrics often reveal a broad concept that is readily apparent, but analyzing lyrics further can reveal a theme that is more specific.

As an example, let’s review the lyrics of “Heat Waves”, which is currently the record of the longest top ranking song on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. That hit song held onto the number one stop for a record-breaking 59 weeks.

The theme of Heat Waves is centered around the general theme of romantic relationships, which is not a surprise. As mentioned in a post about how to make a song, research has shown that the most common theme of top-40 hit songs between 1960 and 2010 was romantic relationships and love.

However, don’t become misled by only focusing on the chorus, which begins with “sometimes, all I think about is you, late nights in the middle of June…” Once you get past its catchy hook, you realize it is not a love song, but instead a song about a failed relationship. More specifically, the lyrics convey a theme of a relationship ending due to the artist’s inability to make the the other person happy.

Narrowing down a theme to be more specific will give better direction when learning how to write lyrics. Before you begin coming up with words, take time to brainstorm and identify the emotions, story, and message that you want to express.

Consider a more specific theme that best fits your song and use it as a guide throughout the writing process. It will help you focus on words and phrases that convey the intended specific message.

2. Use Figurative Language

A powerful tool that can captivate the listener is by writing lyrics using figurative language to add depth, emotion, and creativity to a song. 

So what is figurative language? It is using language in a non-literal way to describe vivid imagery and evoke emotions in the listener. 

One popular form of figurative language is metaphor, which is when you compare two unrelated things to create a new meaning.  Another form of figurative language is simile, which is a comparison that uses “like” or “as.”

“Firestone,” the hit song by Kygo, uses both metaphors and similes that elevate it to a poetic masterpiece. The metaphor in the song is brilliantly crafted, comparing the hearts of two people in love that, when brought together, ignite a love that illuminates the world.

The image of hearts creating a blazing fire of passion when struck together, is both captivating and profound.

Additionally, the simile “our hearts are like firestones” is an explicit and powerful comparison that further intensifies the song’s emotional impact.

This eloquent application of figurative language is what sets this song apart, making it music that resonates with audiences on a profound level.

Incorporating figurative language in your songwriting can be done by brainstorming ideas and finding unique and creative ways to describe emotions, experiences, and concepts. They can make your lyrics more interesting and impactful.

3. Write a true expression of your genuine feelings

Another technique to help you with writing lyrics is by tapping into your feelings and being authentic. Renowned Grammy winning artist, Alicia Keys, emphasizes the importance of tapping into genuine feelings and being authentic in songwriting, describing it as a “natural experience,” “honest experience,” and a “true expression”.

In an interview, Keys states “genuine feeling is at the core of any good song,” and in another, she described writing a song as being a “natural experience,” “ honest experience,” and a “true expression.”

The Feelings Wheel

When writing lyrics using this method, think about the message and theme you want to convey. Put those ideas in the forefront of your mind and what they mean to you, and do your best to dig deep and connect with your true emotions and feelings.

Once you begin to feel your natural emotions, you should write down or express your honest feelings out loud as soon as you can. Use the feelings wheel above if you need help with categorizing different feelings you experience.

Songs are filled with emotions so expressing genuine feelings can be a powerful way to connect with listener.

4. Let your mind wander

A counterintuitive way to write lyrics is to relax and let your mind wander. This is one method songwriter Paul Simon used to write lyrics.

Although a wandering mind is commonly perceived as a distraction, research suggests that it can actually be an indirect path to creative ideas. In fact, studies have shown that some of the most creative ideas occur when minds wander.

Next time you find yourself grappling with writer’s block, instead of forcing yourself to focus, consider taking a break and letting your mind wander. Embrace the freedom of your thoughts as they roam, and wait for ideas and words to fill your mind. You never know what creative gems may surface when you allow your mind to roam free.

5. Read a book about writing lyrics

Reading a book about writing lyrics is another way to seek inspiration and ideas. One standout choice is “Writing Better Lyrics” by Pat Pattison, a renowned professor at Berklee College of Music.

In this must-read book, Pattison delves into a variety of techniques and provides practical exercises that will train you in his method for crafting compelling lyrics. Through his expert guidance, you’ll learn how to tap into your creative instincts, refine your style, and elevate your lyric writing skills.

What makes Pattison’s book invaluable is the wealth of experience he brings to the table. As a respected professor, he has instructed successful songwriters, including Grammy winners Gillian Welch and John Mayer.

Having a physical guide book handy can also serve as a quick guide when you encounter a creative roadblock. Having a tangible book provides uninterrupted access to valuable content, without distractions or notifications.

6. Use an AI writing assistant

If you are a complete loss for words, it is worth using an AI writing assistant to help you find words and lyrics that work with your song. 

AI writing assistant
A robot writing on paper

AI writing assistants are based on large language models (LLMs) that have the incredible ability to generate human-like writing.

The best AI writers are trained using large amounts of data from various books, articles, and other documents to come up with writing. That vast amount of data allows gives them the ability to be generate creative writing

Recent advancements in AI technology has paved the way for a new breed of writing assistants that can be a game-changer for songwriters. The human-like writing that AI writing assistants can generate include song lyrics that rhyme.

Writesonic and Rytr are two AI writers that have functions specifically engineered to create song lyrics. By inputting prompts, which are text-based instructions, these AI writing assistants can generate creative and original lyrics even with rhyme patterns.

AI writing assistants can save a significant amount of time since they can generate creative lyrics within seconds. 

It is worth experimenting with AI writing assistants so you can save yourself from frustration and move forward quickly. Take advantage of these digital tools that can help you overcome writer’s block.


Writing lyrics is an art that requires creativity, emotion, and storytelling. While there are no set rules, there are several techniques that can help you overcome writer’s block and help you with writing better lyrics. 

These tips for writing lyrics are meant to provide you with diverse approaches to convey a message or emotion in a song. Try something unconventional and you may discover yourself creating lyrics that are unique and incredibly creative, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

With practice and perseverance, you can unlock your potential and create impactful lyrics that deep resonate with your audience.

About the Author

Jon Chen
Jon is a lawyer with more than 15 years of experience practicing law. His passion for music began when he was a child, which led him to learn how to play the piano, saxophone, trombone, and guitar. He enjoys analyzing music and helping others succeed and live a better life.