Start a New Lyric Right Now With These Writing Prompts for Songwriters


If you’ve got five minutes, you’ve got time to start writing a new lyric from scratch.

Return here often, and you’ll have more lyric ideas than you need—which means you’ll be able to pick and choose. Best of all: you won’t have to sit around waiting for the muse (that flake); you can make inspiration happen anytime you want.

Go for it! Pick one of the lyric writing prompts below and get busy.


Core Lyric & Song Writing Prompts


Free Writing

Time required: 5 minutes.

Break through your creative blocks in ten minutes or less. This simple writing prompt is all you need to restart your writing habit on the right foot.

Image-Only Free Writing

Time required: 5 minutes.

Pen compelling descriptions that will stimulate your listener’s senses and draw her deep into the world of your lyric.

Adding Music to Free Writing

Time required: 30+ minutes.

Use imagery and music together to immerse yourself in the perfect mood for songwriting. We’ll stretch out a bit more in this songwriting prompt and give ourselves time to explore.

More Songwriting Prompts

Find the Kink in Your Song Hose, Part 1: Check Your Idea Spigot— Want to ensure a steady, sustainable stream of new lyric ideas? Go to the source with these 11 tips.

How to Write Lyrics for an Instrumental Track—Got a piece of music that you need to write lyrics for? No problem.

Lyric Writing Exercises: a 5-Day WorkshopGuest post by Maria Rainier. Much to my consternation, Maria’s prompts have been far more popular than any of my own. :D Great job, Maria.

Shake a Tail Feather: How to Use Body Language in a Lyric—As writers, we hear this advice often: “Show, don’t tell. Show, don’t tell. Show, don’t tell.” But what about those times when we want to show what’s going on inside of a character’s head and let the audience know how that character is feeling?

The Hangman’s Book of Love Poetry—Write a song about a villain with redeeming qualities in this lyric writing prompt.

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