After addressing the issue of writer's block and recent news in the gospel music industry, it occurs to us that the two topics may become intertwined for many songwriters. Anyone looking to write their own gospel songs will most certainly be interested in the arena's current happenings. However, they may be even more interested in the actual songwriting process.
You see, writing a gospel song differs slightly from writing a song in another genre. While the basic fundamentals of compelling lyrics and melodies still apply, a great gospel song must also carry with it a message. Most often, the message comes before the song--it is what inspires the artist to write in the first place. A recently heard sermon, a favorite parable, the beauty of nature--this message can be found anywhere.
If you're ever at a loss for what to write about, you will find several fantastic sources for inspiration at your disposal. The most obvious are your church and the Bible. Biblical passages and other spiritually based scripture hold a great deal of inspirational messages and imagery. So as not to confuse the subject, we suggest picking one specific message to focus on. This could be an abstract theme like salvation, mercy or devotion, or something specific taken from your own personal experiences. It's always good to start with something close to your heart; real emotion always helps with the creative process.
Once you've settled on a main subject, it's time to start writing. Remember that it's okay to simply write lyrics, and leave the music composition up to someone else. Here at HillTop Records, we love writing and arranging music to accompany submitted lyrics and poetry. However, keep in mind that the most popular gospel songs tend to have a predictable rhythm and repetition. This makes them easier for church choirs to learn.
If you ever get stuck, you can try one of our tricks for conquering writer's block or you can turn to God and pray for inspiration. That's an edge you have over songwriters in other genres--you already automatically have someone working with you.