As artists, there’s nothing greater than the feeling of achievement we experience when throwing the pen down after finishing the last phrase or word of a brand new song! Whether you think its a HIT or just another one shuffled in the pages of your journal – or nowadays the notepad app on the newest smart phone or tablet.
Although we always try our best, it doesn’t really matter because its our song right? It is our thoughts, and our feelings that we wish to share with our audience. But what happens when you start asking yourself all those sticky questions?
What if it isn’t good enough? What if you don’t necessarily happen to resonate with it on a level of your own taste? Here are some thoughts to ponder that may allow you the freedom to release that indifference.
1) You don’t have to release everything you write!
I have written countless songs, whether alone or in co-writes that have been great experiences.
The tone is set, the vibe is right and energy flows into our finished piece.We’ve all been there, we get with our team or our group of friends when we just want to hang out, jam and write; but what happens when there’s not a particular use for it on a project we are working on, what do we do with it? We keep them organized and cataloged. We keep them within our reach to come back to in the future. As artists we never know how we’re feeling in the months to come, let alone what we want to eat for lunch.
2) There may be another artist or camp looking for their next track!
There are countless cases of songs being shopped or picked up by other acts, in fact, if you’re new to the game, it is important to know that this a normal occurrence and most times integral part of being involved in the songwriting community. This reminds me of my own experience specifically in a co-write where we had finished writing a new song in a writing room. We were ready to lay it down. I jumped behind the mic, tracked the vocals, and we did a rough mix of the demo. There just so happened to be a band in the same studio working on a new album to be released later that fall. They heard the demo, fell in love and bam! It landed on their second studio album.
3) We don’t have to like everything we write!
I sat in a seminar recently with hit songwriter Shelly Peiken (“What a Girl Wants” – Christina Aguilera, “Bitch” – Meredith Brooks, “Who You Are” – Jessie J).
Learning a lot about the process, she so firmly reminded me and everyone else in the small cornered room..”We don’t have to like everything we write”. Sometimes its necessary to get out the duds to make room for the hits.
Don’t get discouraged when you think you’re writing skills are slacking and don’t feel like you are delivering. It’s all a part of the process. Our best will range varyingly from day to day, but always try your best.