Quite often I get this question… “Where do the ideas for your songs come from?” The truth is, there’s not one single answer for that question. The songs I write come to me in a variety of different ways. One piece of advice I would give to anybody who is or longs to be a songwriter would be, ALWAYS keep your eyes and ears opened. You never know when someone is going to say something or something is going to occur that will spawn an idea for a song.
With that said, there are several different avenues God uses to send songs my way. This may not ring true for every songwriter but, I’m sure, there will be some of you who relate. Maybe the list I’m fixing to share with you will be something from which you can benefit.
- Life circumstances – Often I write out of situations that I’ve experienced. I write out of my joy and out of my pain. These songs are powerful because they provide a lyric with which people can relate. We’ve all been through the gamut of emotions and it’s likely, when one of these songs is performed, someone is present who has gone through the exact same situation. Another Child’s Coming Home, on our newest CD, came to me because I wasn’t where I should have been in regards to my walk with the Lord. Never be afraid to share your life experiences in song, no matter how painful they might be.
- Necessity – This is an avenue that doesn’t produce as many songs as others. Nevertheless, sometimes I write songs simply because it’s a type of song that is needed for a particular reason. When we’re going into the studio to record, we try to choose music that covers a broad range of tempo and content. Gerald might mention a certain groove he’s looking for and it will cause me to go to the drawing board. On our last project, “The Only Way”, the song Eternity is About to Begin was written out of such a need.
- Outside Inspiration – I’d say millions of songs have been written because the writer was inspired by something someone else said. You ought to be listening to and taking notes on your preacher’s messages every time he gets up to deliver a sermon but, if you’re not, it’s un-telling how many songs have slipped by without you noticing! A song I wrote entitled, My Guilt is No Match For God’s Grace was born because I heard a preacher say it. As I said before… Keep your eyes and ears opened!!!
There are three examples of how songs find their way to my pen. I hope it sheds some light on how you might go about thinking when it comes to crafting a song.
Is there something you can share with us about where you find inspiration for the songs you write? Please share!
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