Collaboration should not be a painful process. It should be a wonderful, creative experience.
Hold on, let me qualify that. It might be a teeny bit painful.
The song just might not be coming together as you want it to.
Sometimes that's just the way it is, it's nobody's fault.
Essentially collaborations should pull the best bits from the individuals writing the song. However, there are no rules, the composer should be able to chip in with some words and vice versa.
The key to good collaboration is flexibility. It's essential to work with lyricists and composers who are flexible in their approach and not too precious about altering their work. As co-writers we must be prepared to give a little.
Remember though, Lyrics are not the same as poems. Poems are meant to be read, sometimes aloud, in a plain speaking voice. Lyrics need to be sung to a tune and so need to have what the great Sammy Cahn referred to as "singability."
"The completed song should always be greater than the sum of the parts."
Well that's my theory and i'm sticking to it!
Contact me if you want to explore co-writing.