On Songwriting: It’s Like Naming a Child

It’s easy to get excited about your half-written song. Rather than finish it, you email your verse and chorus to 25 friends. You just can’t help yourself. That dopamine hit of validation would feel so good right now. 

Well, get a grip, ok? I urge you not to share your excitement too soon. Why? It’s like naming a child. 

Before the baby’s born you’ve got two choices: tell people the names you’re thinking of or keep them secret. 

Let’s say you tell them. Sure, you’ll get people who say, “I love that name!” But you’ll also get people who tell you that’s their dog’s name. Or worse, you’ll get polite nods with “Interesting.” Pretty soon you’re questioning every name you’ve ever loved. But it’s your own fault. You let too many people into your creative process. 

If you absolutely must share your excitement on your song early on, just ask one or two trusted friends. People who can give you enough information to make the song better, and enough encouragement to help you finish it. Go the other route and you’ll invite too many voices inside your head. Pleasing all of them will be impossible.