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Handling your inner editor

Handling your Inner Editor

 

Ever get stuck writing?

 

Can’t finish a sentence or line

Nothing fits right, nothing rhymes

Got no rhythm, got no flow

Stuck on a lyric, can’t find the note….

 

Me too!

 

It often starts with:

No,

No…

No!

No = frustration

No = no where

No = no song

 

…getting stuck/annoyed/nowhere fast,

is usually my inner editor talking…

judging and measuring

Is that good enough?

That the best you’ve got?

 

Come on,

I’m playing ‘hear the invisible song’…

not playing ‘rules’!

 

How can I be telling me that lyric is garbage when I haven’t even finished imagining all the way to the end?

 

I’m editing before I have even written it…

 

While song writing, I find that I rush to judgement on my lyrics too soon because I am afraid to write crap… forgetting that no one gets to see or hear my lyrics until I choose to be ready to share them…

 

I can write crappy lyrics with lame melodies all afternoon! Tomorrow I can toss them out or edit them or pick out the gold phrases and mix them into platinum….

 

 

Some of my best lines came to me after wrestling with the first terrible line I wrote, finding the best choices and reworking it later in the song writing process… the song was stronger for it.

 

Ever go the wrong way and have an adventure on the way back? Same thing. It makes a good story. And a good story always makes a song better.

 

The story behind the post photo:

 

1 “Rub my Head!”

Song writing while in the flow… the world is good 🙂

 

http://epicsongwriting.com/handling-your-inner-editor
Rub My Head

 

2 “Not like that!”

Someone’s inner editor decides that rubbing should be different…

 

http://epicsongwriting.com/handling-your-inner-editor
No No NO!

 

3 There is no 3 because I have learned where this goes

so I put the phone away and sang a song….

 

 

Even knowing this… Some days the first word is NO

 

Editor interference again…

 

  • No don’t like that image
  • No don’t like that rhyme
  • No don’t like this song
  • No don’t want to keep writing

 

Well:

It’s easier to say no than yes

Ever drop a compliment?

Someone tells you something nice and you correct them

“Nice shirt”

“Oh this old thing”

 

“Nice song”

“Yeah, thanks…

It still feels like the second verse is weak,

and the bridge needs ….”

 

They said Yes to you, and you said No

 

No’s are sticky

 

You get seven compliments and one criticism…. Which one do you think about and worry over? Do you sit still and replay the compliments? Unfortunately not!

 

So… hardwired to use NO… Hmm

 

Best use this Editing power sparingly… and only for Good!

 

Your Editor is critically important…

When editing!

 

Writing is well… writing… ideas flying out, images captured in words, emotions waiting to erupt. The words flow, thoughts connect… you write.

 

This is when you are in the flow, thoughts flow, lyrics flow, songs flow…

It’s easy.

It’s play!

 

When you are writing, especially brainstorming and generating ideas, Your editor is you worst enemy… too busy talking while you are creating.

 

Be critical at the right time… When editing

 

Yes, this is obvious.

 

But then why, even knowingly, do I do it so often?

 

for more about writing and editing, read Songwriting Cycle: Solutions

 

 

Action Steps:

 

Write Play Edit Play Repeat

Never write and edit at the same time

Continue until ready for audience testing

 

When Song Writing

decide out loud that you are writing or editing,

they have different rules, that don’t fit together

Is it flow time or nitpicking?

Can I write a scat line to hold the melody in my head

while I get to the third line I can hear half of

instead of sorting through my thesaurus

looking for the rhyming shade of blue?

 

Know you can rewrite any line, change any choice,

 

Ignore think-abouts

  • or long slow downs until the editing phase,
  • Use nonsense syllables or dashes to hold place in the song
  • and write past those spots

 

Write a bad song,

  • when the world doesn’t end…
  • pick the best ideas from it and toss it, then write a better song.
  • Bonus: Sometimes intentionally bad songs are really good songs!

Go outside 

 

Talk to new people

 

Finish the song

  • put it away for a week before deciding:
  • file it, rewrite it or demo

 

Bonus

Notice No statements

in your head and from those around you, try to phrase them as

Yes statements:

 

“Hope I don’t forget the words

while I’m on live television”

might be rephrased:

“Hope I sing every lyric with conviction

while I captivate the world

through the magic of live broadcasting!”

 

Share how you handle your inner editor in the comments below….

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© Trevor Dimoff, EpicSongWriting.com, 2019