I always write the music first, and then start working on the lyrics. For some reason, the original melody is so important to me, that I’m not willing to change it in order to write the lyrics more easily. I feel that if I replace the melody, the feeling of the song would lose something important. Relying so much on a prewritten melody can be a real hindrance when writing lyrics. So far I’ve always managed to write the lyrics to the original melody, but sometimes it has taken ages.
In order to complete the third album, I still need to write lyrics to one more song. I guess it’s difficult, because I’m juggling between a few different subjects. The original idea was to write about loss, but I’m not sure if I can write about that right now. I might need to switch to another topic, just to be able to tell a good story. I need to see the events of the song in my mind. Sometimes I even draw them on paper, just to broaden the scene of the song. Or I could look for a photograph that depicts the story of the song.
If I can come up with just a few coherent lines, the rest of the lyrics can be written quite easily. I call these “the key lines”, since they define what can be added. All other lines can be judged against the key lines. I should get back to writing.
What’s your process?