Wednesday, November 25, 2009

3♣ Use up some ink and paper

3♣ Three of Clubs in The Rock Songwriter’s Deck: 52 Ways to Write a Song

When writing a song -- or creating anything -- we naturally want the results to be great. Why set out to create something average? But the pressure to produce great stuff is a burden on the creative process. It's hard to be inventive when you need guaranteed results. At worst, you might find that you can't write anything at all, for the fear that you might create something that isn't good enough.

The Three of Clubs gives us an antidote to perfectionism and writer's block. Start with several blank sheets of paper, and keep writing until you have filled them up! Your new goal isn't to create goodness, it's to end up with a page full of stuff -- new stuff that you just wrote.

At worst, you'll create something bad, and you can throw it out. But if you persist, you will eventually, without even trying, come up with a brilliantly fresh idea. Those ideas are hanging around, waiting to come out -- but they can only emerge if you're actually writing, and only while you're not paying full attention to what you're doing.

Paradoxically, it can be easier to write ten songs than it is to write one song. When you're writing one song, that song alone carries the weight of all your hopes and ambitions, and your writing gets bogged down. But if you're going to write ten songs, there's less pressure on each of them, and you can speed through the process.

Take on the Three of Clubs' challenge. Empty out your pen, and fill up the page with new songs. Are they good songs? It doesn't even matter! You can decide that later -- right now you're busy writing.

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