Writing Music Or Writing Lyrics – Which Comes First?

What’s the best way to begin writing a new song? Do you start writing music first, or do you start with lyrics?

What’s The Right Approach?

I don’t think there is one “right” way to go about writing a song. There are tons of hit songs that are written one way, and just as many that are written the other. It all comes down to what works for you. I’ve written many songs using each approach. I think I write better lyrics when I write them first, but a more interesting melody when I start with that. I’m still working on perfecting my craft. Having said that, I believe the melody is the most important part of the song. It’s the melody that grabs us in the first place. If we have a great melody, the listener will stick around long enough to listen to the words. Of course, at that point we had better have some great lyrics to keep their interest.

Writing From Emotion

When writing a song, whichever approach I choose I always write from emotion. Let me explain: If I’ve written some lyrics which I feel are good, I notice the emotions I feel when reading through them. I use this as a starting point. It tells me what the overall feel of the melody should be. When writing melody first I notice the emotions I feel when listening to the music. Then I use this to tell me what the song might be about.

Putting It All Together

Whichever way you approach it, you have to fit what you’re writing with what you’ve already written. The lyrics you’ve written will dictate the rhythm and flow of the melody, and vice-versa. But remember that nothing needs to be carved in stone. Always be open to changing and tweaking lines of words or melody to make them fit together nicely. Sometimes I like five lines of lyrics in the second verse, when there are only four in the first verse. So when writing music I will accommodate that with an extra line of melody.

Which Way Is Best For You?

I enjoy using either approach when writing a song. I guess it helps to keep it fresh for me. If you always write one way, try it the other way. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

5 Writing Skills You Must Have to Make Money Writing

Want to make money writing? The ever-growing Web is hungry for words, so almost anyone can do this. However, if you want to make a six-figure income, you need good skills.

Let’s look at five essential skills you need to make a great income from your writing. You won’t develop these skills overnight, but as they grow, so will the money you make.

1. Basic English Language Skills — Grammar, Punctuation, Style

Your writing career is built on basic English language skills: vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, and an understanding of the various styles and forms of writing.

If you’re shaky in these basic skills, that’s easy to fix. Read a book a week, and get someone to tutor you. Reading — both for pleasure and to build your basic language skills — is essential for a writer.

2. The Ability to Research and to Analyze

The Web has spawned a copy-and-paste writing culture. Copying from others (yes, if you change the words, copying ideas is still copying) is a bad writing habit to get into.

Break yourself of it. Build your research and analytical skills. Basically, writing is thought and creativity, it’s not typing.

You can’t build a six-figure writing income on others’ ideas: realizing this is the first step in building a great income.

3. The Ability to Promote Yourself: You’re Your Own PR Agency

When you start writing for money, you’re trading your time for dollars. Take a course in marketing: as a writer, you’re your own public relations agency.

As your ability to promote your writing services and your products (articles, books, Web content development) grows, so will your income.

4. The Ability to Create a Business Plan and Carry It out

Do you have a business plan? Your writing is a business, and to grow your business you need a plan. Your plan may be short and simple: how much you intend to earn over the next 12 months, and how you intend to earn that income.

As your other writing skills develop, so will your understanding of the possibilities of building a highly profitable income from your writing, so that you can create plans and carry them out.

5. Enjoyment of Writing for Its Own Sake

Finally, you need to enjoy writing. I’ve called this a skill, because I want you to remember how important it is, and because just like any skill, this enjoyment can be developed, if you understand that it’s necessary.

If you enjoy writing, you won’t begrudge the hours you spend improving your writing skills. Your career will grow, because you’ll see fresh challenges as a source of delight, rather than “work”.

Anyone can make money writing: the better your writing skills however, the more your income will increase.