I’m working on a song and I lose interest in it because if I’m honest I have to admit that it bores me. Not everything in it, or the main idea… but something about it doesn’t excite me anymore… if it ever did.
I hate to admit how often this makes me want to give up on the song. Sometimes I do.
But, rather than quit, what I can do is ask myself, Exactly what is it that’s boring me? Is it the Verse lyric, say, or the melody? Is it the rhythm of the melody? Etc. This is diagnostic work; songwriting forensics.
And I know from past experience that if I can figure out what the problems are, and if I’m willing to work on them, I can often end up with a song that really does excite me.
If that’s the case, why do I want to quit on the song? In my case I think the answer is mostly simple Laziness. It’s too much like ‘work’ work. And who gets into songwriting to ‘work’ work!?
To actually identify where in the song the tedium is coming from, and then to go in to excavate and renovate to the degree necessary can be some heavy lifting. Having a song that needs this kind of work can be the most labor-intensive part of writing.
Going down a path that, partly, hasn’t worked out.
Admitting this to myself.
Retracing my steps; figuring out where I went wrong.
Separating the good from the bad.
Pulling out the rotten wood.
Though many writers say that rewriting is writing, this is not what we usually call the fun part!
But it is satisfying, when tempted to lose faith, to not give in, and to instead bring a song (or anything) back to life from the brink of oblivion. And, in my experience, it’s a space where powerful craft is built. And the value of that can’t be underestimated.
Sometimes it’s best to give up and move on . But sometimes rolling up my sleeves, decoding what the problem is, and then fixing it, is the way to go.
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