The truth is…
Anything and everything can be used as a lyric writing prompt.
But the 15 writing prompts below are guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing.
Here’s how to get the most from these songwriting prompts (and improve your songwriting productivity while you’re at it)…
Commit to sticking with the song and following it through to completion, and build a good habit of finishing what you start.
If the song is going badly, write even faster. Just get it over with because if anything is worth keeping, you’ll know a day or two later. But you’ll also learn a valuable lesson about what you don’t like. Writing songs is how you get better.
Forget about caring if your ideas are good enough until you’re warmed up and have lots of ideas on the page. Picasso said, “The chief enemy of creativity is good taste.” So don’t let your taste turn you into a snob that turns its nose up at your own work!
Now, let’s write a song...
Song titles make excellent writing prompts. These rock-solid songwriting techniques will get you started writing song titles that generate interest, make entertaining songs, and ultimately get people to listen and talk about your songs.
- How To Get More Listeners With A “Lizard Brain” Song Title
- The Perfect Song Title – 5 Things to Remember
The Lyric Triad
The Lyric Triad is a tool I created to make it easy to start writing and keep coming up with ideas whenever you need them. Here’s a brief introduction and the story of how I came up with The Lyric Triad.
Not a member? Find out how you can become a Speed Songwriter...
Song plots are outlines that give your song sections a basic premise that you can flesh out in your lyrics. Not only do song plots make excellent writing prompts, but they’re very powerful when it comes to presenting your song ideas.
The Story Hook Challenge
If you’re interested in storytelling and learning dramatic writing structures, you’ll love The “Story Hook” Challenge.
Use a popular content source to create a word cloud app like WordItOut.
For detailed instructions, check out How To Get More Listeners With A “Lizard Brain” Song Title.
Put words and song titles into Google or Google Images and describe what you see.
Watch Out 4 Snakes
Music, Books, Movies, Media
All those hours binge-watching Netflix can be put to good use.
Taylor Swift puts herself in other people’s perspectives to access emotions. For example, she would pause John Hughes’ movies (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink) and ask herself, “What’s he or she thinking at this moment?”
Writing Prompts on Tumblr
There are over 800 writing prompts on this Tumblr blog. Many of them are images to help you get your visual sense warmed up.
365 Creative Writing Prompts
These 365 creative writing prompts have you covered through the rest of the year.
A Year of Journaling: 52 Journaling Prompts
The Girl Who Loved To Write has a fun post of 52 prompts to get you started journaling.
io9 Writing Prompts
One of my favorite sci-fi and fantasy blogs regularly posts creative writing prompts.
TED-Ed: Creative writing prompts that you can do in 10 minutes
Ted has some fun things to write about as well as inspirational videos for creative writers.
There you have it. 15 songwriting prompts to help you get warmed up and brainstorm new song ideas.
Keep in mind that Speed Songwriting isn’t just about writing fast. It’s about being aware of time and making the most of it.
If you know how long it usually takes you to write a song, you can set realistic goals that are motivating to achieve.
There’s nothing wrong with writing slowly. But if you write slowly, it’s even more important to set aside more time to complete your songwriting projects.
Simple planning can help you complete more projects throughout your year.
Challenge yourself. You might be amazed at the results.