We all want to write great songs. Personally, I wouldn't mind selling 30 songs to Madonna and collect my 7 figure royalty checks while I do absolutely nothing for the rest of my life. Okay, maybe not all of us want to write songs for Madonna, but we do want to our songs to be just as inspiring our favorite songs. That's a tall order in many cases.
We try and try and try to write these great songs. We push and push and push as if the same mentality that helps you win a bike race or helps you dig a ditch quicker is going to somehow make the songs better. For better or worse, songwriting is a totally different animal. Sometimes the chorus of the century strikes you while you are stuffing your face with Cheetos watching Everybody Love Ramon reruns. Some of the best songs I've written were waiting for me when I woke up in the morning. I just had to run downstairs and capture them really quickly.
Let The Song Come On It's Own
Since we can't really force songs and songs often expose themselves to us at random times that have nothing to do with the amount of effort we put in, we can assume that songs are just sort of handed down by the gods or whatever. It's not that illogical. Since songs are sort of out of our hands, in a weird way, all we can do is sort of relax and let them happen. The more time we spend writing, the more songs will ooze out of us, and the odds of writing the mega song increase greatly.
Why I Love Writing Bad Songs
I'll be honest, I'm not a lyrics person. This means that I can focus on melody and stress out about melody later on. It also means that I can crank out a ton of songs very quickly. To me a song is nothing but a vocal melody and a few chords. I'll figure out the rest later when I produce the crap out of the song.
With the band I've been producing part time for right at 15 months, we wrote about 250 songs for their record and I must say that the highlights were writing the shittiest songs on the planet on purpose. Why? Because it meant that everyone was maximizing their creative potential. No one was holding back. No one was stressing out about writing a hit song (even though that was sort of the idea). There were nights were we cranked out 20-30 songs. I bet 20 of them were downright terrible. 8 of them were just kind of crappy. One or two were something special. I learned that the worse the writing got, the closer we were to stumbling upon a great song. The songwriting gods reward persistence!