Sometimes I think we care too much that the caring stops us from starting.
By this I mean, that we can become so obsessive on the ‘perfect’ finished product that we get tangled in the pursuit of it.
Ages and ages ago I used to just… prolifically write songs. They were mostly for my church (I used to/still do write Sunday school music) And I would think of an idea and just thrash it out of the way because if I didn’t, it would leave my head.
Usually it would take one phrase that I’d think up and go ‘AH HA!’ That’s it.
If you want to check these out you can find them here: https://soundcloud.com/gideonpress
The thing was though, I was not nor am good at recording.
I don’t use a Mac Book, or Pro Tools or whatever and I just am over all pretty sucky at using a MIDI Key Board.
Anyway for ages and ages I’d submit a song and it would always be a suggestion of ‘maybe you should try blah blah blah…’ and the blah blah blah was generally something I wouldn’t be able to do because I wasn’t great at recording.
As a result of this, I sort of stopped writing for ages because my songs weren’t getting any closer to being sung and try as I might I just am not gifted at recording or music production.
Then, mid last year I submitted another song, and I thrashed myself trying to do it as best as I could on my iPad (using garage band of course…) I submitted it and in my attempt to make it sound as good as I could, it sounded really, really bad.
So when I came up with another idea I was past it. I couldn’t be bothered ruining yet another song with crappy production, so instead I grabbed my acoustic guitar, and my iPad and just sat down recorded my song.
Here’s the thing. It actually sounded good.
So I decided that rather than pretending I was any good at production or recording I would just record the song in the bones it had and give it to someone else to imagine.
It was pretty much the best decision I could have made. It gave me an advantage of speed, and focus. I could think about the music and the hooks and the lyrics rather than crappy recording that would be superseded if/when it was picked up to be used.
Writing can be like this too. We get tangled in making it perfect rather than just writing it down. I find this a lot of with students who go back and review before they have finished a project.
Once someone told me that the most important thing in the creative process was to write it down. You can come back and fix it later. Still today that is the best piece of advice I’ve ever received.
Write it down, then edit afterwards. Finish it while the idea is still hot, it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect.
Be constantly creative, let the idea flow, if it’s not amazing, you can make it amazing later on.