Getting to “done”: When you know your song isn’t finished

Go Further wooden sign with a paradise on background

I knew I wasn’t done.

That’s not true. I had almost talked myself into thinking I was done with the song I had been working on since July. That I had been toying with and tackling and turning inside-out about and tossing and turning for the past three months. It had gotten a lot better and I was really happy with some parts of it, and it probably could just be like that and no one would be the wiser — it’s pretty and tightly-written and hangs together. Most songs take me just a few weeks to write and this one was keeping me awake at night. Enough was enough, right?

But…in my heart of hearts I knew it wasn’t done. And when I played it for Shannon, my husband, who is a creative soul and a great writer himself and a bit of a mystic at heart, I knew he’d tell it like it is. And he said:

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Overcoming your biggest songwriting fears

bigstock-Erase-Fear-56175026I recently finished reading — and continue to be obsessed with — Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

Like all of us, of course, I have plenty of my own fears. For example, I spent my morning yesterday dealing with my debilitating fear of heights. A stomach-churning, misery-inducing ride of winding roads and cliffs to get into Muir Woods National Monument near San Francisco, and then crying and panicking as I walked along a hillside cliff that even little children and senior citizens had no problem traversing.

Certainly, I have songwriting-related fears that will probably immediately be familiar to anyone reading this.

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