This is the second in a series of posts related to the topic of song-writing. The first is about finishing songs and is very closely related to this one. You might have passed it on your way here.
If you’re early on in the artistic process, you’re probably making bad art. Keep making it.
In high-school, I remember seeing a play by a local playwright which he’d written about… writing a play. (Interestingly, the thing writers often write about when suffering from writers block is either writing or writers block.)
The scene that stuck with me from that play was a conversation between the playwright and another, older playwright.
Young Playwright (YP): “I just feel like everything I write is crap.”
Old Playwright (OP): “It probably is. You’re still too young to write great dialogue.”
YP: “So, what am I supposed to do?”
OP: “Keep writing.”
YP: “Wait.. you just agreed that it’s probably crap.”
OP: “Yes, but it’s out of the manure that the flowers grow.”
Just like learning anything else, your first few efforts or first season of effort is usually going to be rough. Muscles and muscle memory are yet to be developed. Be patient. Fall down. But keep at it.
Another way to think about it is like a cleansing; the same way you have to throw out the first batch of ice from the freezer’s ice-maker. Our creative “plumbing” likely has some blockage and rust and whatnot from years of non-use or mis-use. Sometimes it’s working out all the residue from bad art we’ve taken in.*
The other way to look at it is that, there are probably good ideas mixed up in the bad and that the only way to get them out is to get it all out. As I’ve written previously, we can only evaluate our work once we’ve got some distance from it.
(*listening to better music is another blog.)