The Art of Throwing Songs Away

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One question that I get asked often is whether or not I finish every song that I start writing.

I don't.

Not every piece of art you start creating is worth finishing - not every song you start writing will become a masterpiece.

The ability to know which ones are worth investing your time and energy into is a skill that you can develop over time.

Some songs come together in hours while others come together in weeks.

Others simply don't need to be finished.

Learning to invest your time in the winners is crucial.

Just like there's an art to finishing songs, there's an art to throwing songs away.

And "throwing a song away" means putting it away for now and choosing to focus on something else.

You never know when you'll need a melodic idea or a lyric that's similar to that song you never finished so always archive everything while being very discerning in choosing which ideas to focus your creative energy on.

At the start, the trick is to put your heart and soul into coming up with as many half-formed song ideas as possible.  Then you whittle those down into a much smaller set of great ideas and invest all your focus and creative power into making those the best that they could possibly be.

Start with many semi-formed ideas. Pick the best of the group. Invest all your creative energy into crafting the few into transcendent, timeless works of art.

So don't fall in love with everything you start creating because you could be taking precious time away from creating your masterpiece.