After a short break I’m back to posting about my songwriting project. My intension was to work on this every day of 2010. Julia Cameron calls it a “Creative U-Turns.” I just didn’t expect to have one on Day 4! Was it fear of success?

I am committed to at least doing my daily practice around my music. Writing every day may be unrealistic right now. The most important part is to establish a habit or discipline around my music.

Today’s focus is on choosing a theme for a song. Amy Appleby notes in her, You Can Write a Song, that there are only a handful of themes out there. The trick is to take a tried and true theme and present it in a fresh and updated way.

It’s also a good idea to start by thinking through your audience or the purpose of your songwriting. When writing songs for church, for children, your community play or a concert you have much more freedom to choose a theme. If you want write a mainstream pop song writing about some of the following themes will work better because they are more familiar.

Here are some of the major themes. There may be more of course, but these are a good start. Many have to do with love.

  • Looking for Love
  • Proposing Love
  • Making Love
  • Celebrating Love
  • Unriquited Love
  • Broken Love
  • Personal Portraits
  • Places and Objects
  • Events
  • Friendship
  • Family
  • Self-realization
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Novelty
  • Fantasy
  • Work, Money, Survival
  • Philosophical/Moral
  • Political/Patriotic

My goal is to write pop songs so I plan to explore some of these themes for the songs to write. I like that the book gives examples of each theme. I am drawn to writing about what is going on in my life right now, especially, self-realization and things that are inspirational. Songs can have subthemes too. For now, I’ll see where this goes.

How about you? Who are you writing for? What themes attract you most?

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