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When Song Ideas Come, Forward Motion Is Everything

Overthinking a song can be fatal when ideas are flowing. At a later point, I believe there’s a place for reevaluating everything in the song. But that’s rewriting.

When writing, particularly at the beginning of an idea, forward motion is all, momentum is everything. If it stinks I can just throw it out – later. But when there’s some inspiration happening, the only way to go is forward. At those moments, questioning is counterproductive.

I don’t mean it’s counterproductive to ask myself questions like, “What about if I do this? How about if I try that?” Trying stuff out… that’s what I need to be doing.

But questioning myself in ways like, “Is this any good?”, or even just doubting my skill and ability, which I often do… if I can avoid going there when I’ve got some momentum, I do so.

That’s so my subconscious can just push ideas out of my mouth, my fingers, my mind. And there’s even the serendipity of accidentally singing or hitting an unintended or ‘wrong’ note or word and, before I question it, realizing it sounds good.

As I said before, I believe in evaluating and reevaluating everything in a song. In the cold light of day my ideas may turn out to be great, good, mediocre, bad.

But that’s for later. When the ideas are coming… let ‘em come.

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6 responses to “When Song Ideas Come, Forward Motion Is Everything”

  • Well stated and very true. Thanks!

  • Charity James

    So true, Tony! I’m still finessing that fine line between inspiration and excavation.
    i find that when I hit a snag in my inspiration, if I just keep going for another 20 to 30 minutes, the results are good. If I stop too soon, sometimes I lose the song forever.
    Thanks again!

  • Scot

    I recently heard the phrase “Don’t worry, be crappy!”, I try to remember this when working on first drafts. I wrote this on a post it note so I can see it while I’m working.

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