This weekend I posted an article called Burn Your File of Song Ideas and Start Over (I Dare You). I’m on the receiving end of a righteous thrashing for that one, complete with angry e-mails and complaints to my e-mail delivery service. Clearly I drilled into a nerve.
Harness that rage and prove me wrong. Dig into your song idea file, hose the mold off a stalled song, stick in some new spark plugs and give ‘er a kickstart. Then do figure-eights on my front lawn!
I’ll take angry e-mails and lost sales any day, as long as those losses mean that you’re writing. And not just writing, but getting songs done.
By the way: despite the dramatic title, if you read the article you already know that I don’t urge anyone to actually physically destroy their work. Matt Blick and Jeff Shattuck left thoughtful comments that you should check out, too.
The burning portion is mental: it’s best to finish songs, then immediately start more. If a song stalls for days, weeks and months until it’s effectively dead, get it out of your workspace.
Never let the weeds grow higher than your garden.
And thanks for the angry letters—I mean that. It’s good for my heart to see that kind of passion. Songwriting means the world to me as an art and a vocation… It’s great to know I’m not the only one who cares.