One of the hardest things about songwriting is to know and accept when the lyrics are just right. I know some songwriters just jot down the very first thing they hear in their head and then that’s the song. (interestingly, some of my friends who take that approach often have brilliant lyrics, and others… well…. less so.)
For me, I start with whatever comes to mind, but that ends up being the first of many, many drafts. Most of the time, the first thing in my head is little more than a trite placeholder. It usually takes me a while to figure out what I want to say and I may have two or three drafts of lyrics before I even decide what the song is supposed to be.
But even when I’m done with a song, I always think something can be improved. I always think some nuance can be brought out with more color and clarity. But sometimes, I’m simply just running in circles trying and failing to rewrite something and I’m not always making it better. So that sort of begs the question, when are you really done?