How do you write a good song? I have only one to my credit. I should have at least a couple thousand by now! I hear so many good songs by great songwriters that it seems like I should be able to come up with more than one.
I have attempted to compose many times, and failed miserably. Whoever said “I’m my own worst critic” must’ve been a writer. I’ll have a verse and maybe the start of a chorus, reread it and decide that it’s a cliché, or that it probably won’t make any sense to anyone but me, eventually convincing myself to trash it.
How do songwriters like Jason Isbell, John Prine, Eminem, Sam Cooke, Kris Kristofferson, and all the other greats do it? David Crosby was asked in an interview how he comes up with his songs and he said (I’m paraphrasing): “It just kind of floats down and enters my head.” I’ve heard other songsters say in interviews that writing about life, all the normal and abnormal things they’ve experienced, is pretty much how they do it.
I don’t have the courage to write songs about my life. There’re too many tragedies. Even so, I don’t think I’ll give up trying. Hopefully I’ll come up with my second one before “the Man sends down his angels for me.”