woman in black sunglasses and white shirt

To Plan Or Not To Plan (Your Song). That Is The Question

When it comes to songwriting, whether you should plan the story of your song before you write it or not plan and make it up as you go along largely depends on your personal style and creative process. Each approach has its own advantages and can lead to compelling results. Let’s explore both methods:

Planning the Story Before Writing


  1. Clear Direction: Having a story or theme in mind provides a clear direction, making it easier to structure your song and ensure coherence in your lyrics.
  2. Focused Emotion: Knowing the story helps you channel specific emotions, which can lead to more impactful and relatable lyrics.
  3. Efficient Writing: With a clear narrative, you might find the writing process more efficient as you already know what you want to convey.
  4. Consistency: A pre-defined story ensures consistency in the song’s message, avoiding potential contradictions or scattered ideas.


  1. Rigidity: Sticking too closely to a pre-planned story can limit spontaneity and make the song feel forced or less organic.
  2. Pressure: The pressure to stick to a story can sometimes stifle creativity and lead to writer’s block.

Making It Up as You Go Along


  1. Creativity and Freedom: This approach allows for greater creativity and flexibility, enabling you to explore different ideas and directions as they come to you.
  2. Organic Development: The song can evolve naturally, often leading to surprising and unique outcomes that you might not have initially imagined.
  3. Less Pressure: With no strict plan to follow, you can write more freely, which can be particularly helpful in overcoming writer’s block.


  1. Potential Lack of Coherence: Without a guiding story, there’s a risk that the song may lack a clear message or feel disjointed.
  2. Time-Consuming: This approach can sometimes be more time-consuming, as you might need to revise and rework parts of the song to achieve a cohesive final product.

Finding a Balance

Many songwriters find a balance between the two approaches. You might start with a loose idea or theme and let the story unfold as you write. This way, you have some direction without feeling overly constrained. Additionally, you can always refine and structure the song during the editing process.


Ultimately, the best approach is the one that works for you. Experiment with both methods and see which one feels more natural and productive. Some songs may benefit from a well-defined story, while others might shine through a more spontaneous and exploratory writing process. The key is to remain open to different techniques and trust your creative instincts.

Previous Post
songwriting inspiration
Songwriting Process

12 Ways To Create And Maintain The Flow Of Songwriting Inspiration.

Next Post
songwriting flow
Songwriting Process

What Is Flow for Writers and How Can You Find It? – DAILY WRITING TIPS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *