I admit it. I love everything I write. Good or bad, it is amazing to me that ‘out of my head’ a song emerges. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I created something from nothing, and even more wonderful when I hear a recording of one of my songs for the first time. I’m sure that this is a feeling that a good percentage of us songwriters have in common.
In my early years of songwriting, I loved my songs so much that I didn’t want to change anything I wrote because I thought the song was perfect as it emerged. Well, as I have grudgingly learned, ‘there ain’t no perfect!’, and as I have matured as a songwriter, my attitudes toward songwriting have changed. Even though there are exceptions, I approach songs as if they were born incomplete and I have to nurture them to be the best that they can be. My mantra, ‘How can I make my song better?’
Now there is a point when a song is completed, yet I know songwriters who even after recordings are released still try to improve their song, they never feel any of their songs are finished. But most songwriters do know at what point their song is baked. I am also aware that there are songwriters who start songs, never rework them, and have an attitude about rewriting them to make them better. I find it difficult to understand this.
A song is a personal creation. It belongs to you. But even though you may love your song, there is a good chance that it may not be well written. And, if the song isn’t well written, holding on to without some nurturing can become a detriment to your songwriter’s process.
Food for thought: Though it may be difficult to distance yourself from a song you write, I suggest you begin to hear your songs in a different way. Try to experience your songs as if you were a hearing the song for the first time. Do you like it or not? Did you feel the music? Did the lyric make sense? Did the song move you? By changing your approach to listening to your own songs gives you the ability to be more objective about your songwriting.
And after you have listened in this objective way and have made your song perfect, then, you can go back to loving it. Listen to your songs as if you were an audience hearing it for the first time
The art of writing is rewriting and listening. Randy Klein