After years of trying to figure why sometimes I can do it and why sometimes I can't I made some major realizations. I found what works for and what doesn't. I thought I'd start this thread so Ya'll can write about what works for you and what doesn't. My experience: I've written lots of songs in my life, some I love, some I'm okay with, some I hate, some just plain suck and will never see the light of day. After skimming thrugh a book on songwriting not that long ago I started to look at the way I write and it dawned on me. I've never in my life come up with lyrics and then written a song to fit it that I liked. I've come up with lots of lyrics I thought were great, but when I put it together with music - garbage. Not saying it can't be done, just that I can't do it well. I've also never come up with an idea and written around it, as in - I want to write a song about chinese-mexican food (a NY thing that I'm not sure has hit the rest of the world yet). Can't do it. Every song I ever wrote that was worth a damn evolved out of music I played on the bass or strummed on the guitar. I noodle until something eventually comes to me. Once I have 2 parts together I can usually start scat singing a vocal melody. Mindless scat singing always turns into words that my subconscious mind seems to want to put out there - and once that starts happening the rest just kinda flows. I usually have a couple of lines, a complete melody, and then either the words just come to me or I spend time toiling with them. Bridges always seem forced but I work at it. This has been the only way I've ever written that produces stuff that makes me happy and I feel it's a landmark in my writing cuz now I can stop wasting time trying to do it other ways and getting frustrated like I have been. Yay! What's your story?