Before I became the prolific songwriting monster that I am today, there was one main thing that heaped log after log onto my writer’s block bonfire. That fire never was put out until I took control of this one thing in my songwriting process. Once I took control of this one thing, it extinguished my writer’s block fire forever!
How many books and articles have you seen claiming that they are going to teach you how to write a “hit” song. I’ve seen bunches of them. And for the longest time, I fell into that songwriting trap, and for the longest time, I didn’t write songs or at least anything that I thought was “hit” worthy.
My recovery from this debilitating songwriter’s block began with me asking, “what is a hit song?”
Collin’s English Dictionary defines a “hit song” as: a song, usually a pop song, which is well known and which sold well when released. Also called a hit or a hit song.
Hit songs are defined by sales at the time of release according to Jerry Flattum in a Sessionville blog.
So, in my early songwriting process, I was struggling to inject some incredibly deep meaning that everyone who hears my song is going to walk away with and regurgitate to everyone they meet and that is what I thought was the workings of a hit song. My frustrations came from realizing nothing I penned was ever going to meet that stringent requirement. Whatever it is that makes a song popular enough to become a hit is not necessarily connected to the words it contains.
But revisiting that definition of a hit song I came to realize that a song being a hit has little to do with the quality of the song! The songs that I listened to were high in quality when it came to the lyrics and the music and I am all about quality, and there are plenty of hit songs out there that rank pretty low on the quality scale.
My passion has always been good songwriting. I mean that from both sides of the microphone.
I grew up listening to lyrics of great songwriters that moved me. So, in the turnaround, I work at writing good lyrics Creative lyrics. Lyrics that will make you think. Lyrics that might make you pause and say “hey, that’s a neat way to say that.”
So, my first rule when I sit down to write a new song is to tell myself that I am not trying to write a “hit” song. My goal is to write a good song, and if that song becomes a “hit” more power to me. But in my eye, if one person listens to my song and genuinely likes and is even moved by it, then I have accomplished writing a “hit” song.
So, when you sit down to write, don’t get hung up in wanting to write a “hit” song. Use that energy to simply write good songs. The more you do it the better you will get.