On Songwriting: Capture Your Ideas Like a Navy Seal

The Navy Seals have a saying, “Two is one and one is none.” It’s all about planning and having a backup plan. If you don’t have a backup plan, you don’t have a plan because inevitably things will go wrong. Let’s say you want to wake up tomorrow at 6 AM. For the Seals, setting an alarm clock isn’t a plan. Setting an alarm clock and a backup alarm clock is a plan.

It makes me think about how important it is to have a plan and backup plan for capturing your song ideas. Just last night I was in bed and had an idea. I usually keep my ideas in my Notes app, but I had already plugged my iPhone into the wall in the bathroom, because I don’t like to sleep with my phone near me. For that reason, I usually have a stack of index cards on the night stand for song ideas. But when I looked to the nightstand, there wasn’t a pen. I saw I’d forgotten to put one back. I gave up and resorted to “I’ll try to remember tomorrow.”  Guess what? It didn’t work.

Have a plan and a backup plan. Who knows, maybe your idea will lead to a hit song. But the surefire way to make sure it doesn’t is to not make a plan.