Dealing with Doubt
When composing it is normal to have doubts about the quality of your ideas, but in the business of music on demand and tight schedules, you need an approach to deal with that and make the best decisions.
This is how I deal with it
1. I brainstorm.
I have a variety of ways of doing this: at the keys, the guitar, often just walking around the house or my studio or, if ideas are slow in coming, I do laundry or a few chin-ups, anything to clear my mind and get into “play mode”. When brainstorming I find it important to just have fun.
Figuring out under what circumstances I get my best ideas is something I spent quite a lot of time figuring out, and it was not time ill spent. I never get the blank page syndrome anymore.
2. Pick your favourite.
I do this right away and I don’t wait for the next day. I make a few choices and if I have doubts about the best one to choose as I play through them, I will do a rough sequence and then sit back and listen.
If I still have doubts I will stop for a bit, do something completely unrelated to clear my head and get some distance from it, then I come back in 10 minutes or so and sit back and listen.
Even with tight deadlines, taking a short break is important, it makes everything else go much, much faster and smoother.
And let’s face it, if you have doubts about the quality of your idea, it will nag at you as you work.
Furthermore, I am sure this has happened to you; you think your idea is great, you write the whole thing in a heat of passion only to find that it is quite lame when you listen again the next day. Time completely wasted.
Having experienced that a few times, even when I think I am sure I have doubts!
So even when you think you are sure, taking a few minutes or a day to get distance and the come back to your idea with a fresh ear is an important part of the process.
Today I am writing a little 45 second ditty for my next project (more on that soon) and I had to take a break, get some distance from two ideas that I have to choose from – so I wrote this post!
Comments are closed