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Finish More Songs

Finish More Songs, with this simple songwriting hack:

Your “Next Best Song”

 

Does this a sound familiar?

  • You have great ideas for songs, but after working on an idea for a few days, you get distracted by a new song you want to write
  • Your ideas seem great when you start, but they don’t come out in the songs your are writing
  • It’s more interesting to start a song than finish it

I figured out a simple workflow hack that helps me finish more songs, and it’s free!

Here’s what was happening to me:

  • I have too many ideas, I get them all the time, I get them faster than I can write them
  • I get an awesome idea
  • Start a song with that idea
  • Work it a bit, but 
  • Have another idea, that is more interesting 
  • So I start another song
  • Forget the first partial song, and the second
  • Because I have now started three more
  • Five partial songs, nothing finished so far that month….

 

Don’t get distracted by all the other pretty flowers…

finish the one you’re working on first!

Finish More Songs - Next Best Song Hack

 

Shiny New Toy Syndrome

Shiny new toy syndrome… it’s new and shiny so I forget about my other toys when I play with it, until the next one!

 

I go through several stages while writing a song:

The initial rush, ooh great idea, I want to play with that!

Start Making it Happen: Chorus done, verse almost done… then I get distracted by smaller details and cause a slow down in the song’s progress

Slow Down, progress slows or stops, decisions become harder towards the middle or end of writing a song, each decision has a smaller result, eventually it’s about little details instead of the big picture

Distraction: ooh, a different great idea, I want to play with that instead! It’s easier to switch to the new song than to be decisive and finish the last one first

 

How to Finish Your Songs, learn how to get through the many emotional stages of writing a song (or any other large project)

How to Finish Your Songs - Emotional Stages of Songwriting

 

When a song “slows down” for me, I often switch to another, until it slows down, then start another… instead of following through, I jump around to avoid having to finish anything….

 

So I decided to start every writing session with my Next Song… I have to work on it before any other songs.

Always focused on improving, my Next Song should be my best yet, so I upgraded it to:

 

My Next Best Song

I still have ten+ new song ideas a month, but I’m also finishing a song a month.

It would be higher, but I started a second folder:

 

My Next Best Blog Post

And now I’m also averaging two blog posts and a dozen blog post ideas / outlines a month.

 

 

Next Best Song: Rules

  • Work on your Next Best Song for at least ten minutes first thing
  • Keep working on Next Best Song until it’s finished (usually typed lyric sheet & vocal and guitar iphone demo)
  • Pick a new Next Best Song, write until it’s done

 

If you aren’t songwriting often enough, click below:

 

 

Problems

  • You have to Remember to Do This… make a point of creating the habit. It always feels easier to keep old habits than create new ones.
  • Sometimes you get busy, I will skip a day or three when a blog post is distracting me, but remember the most likely time to skip a day, is right after skipping a day…
  • Sometimes other songs are more attractive, spend time on them – this is fine if you finish it quickly, but you should be paying attention to finishing Next Best Song.
  • Don’t replace Next Best Song, finish it!

 

 

Action Steps

  • Start a Next Best Song folder, binder, notebook
  • Commit to working on your Next Best Song at the start of every songwriting session, give yourself a 10 minute minimum
  • Keep up the momentum, be decisive, finish the song before starting another
  • If a new song is really exciting and comes easily, spend time working on it (after your Next Best Song)
  • Keep other song ideas and outlines in your “current songs” folder, binder, notebook
  • Give yourself a deadline. I spend longer than I should to write most songs, so I get bored and start avoiding songs by working on others… When I make a deadline slightly sooner than its comfortable, I usually write faster without sacrificing quality.

 

If you’re having difficulty getting it all done, try: Solving Songwriter Overload to learn how to break big projects into action steps.

Solving Songwriter Overload

 

Share what you’re thinking:

How do you keep your songwriting on track?

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© Trevor Dimoff, EpicSongWriting.com, 2019