Are you in the peculiar trap of not being able to finish your songs/audio related projects? I feel for you, my friend. For I know that feeling quite well. You start something, maybe lay down a chord progression, come up with an intro or a verse/chorus melody, then you try to make it as perfect and complete as you can. You focus on that single part hard, so you can finish it. Often trying to copy some well known style and artist, getting as close to their stuff as possible. Then, as that process surely makes you exhausted, you stop working on it. You leave it unfinished, and – being thirsty for something new and exciting again – you start another project. And another one… and another one. And you never finish a single tune. What’s the solution? How is it possible to get out of such a rut?
Can’t finish your songs? It’s a trap
First, you have to realize that this problem is caused by overthinking. That pesky state of mind is the death of spontaneity, and that in turn becomes the death of creativity as well. It’s a self-strengthening process. After a while, the whole attempt of trying to complete a tune goes down this analytical wormhole, and never surfaces again. The momentum’s gone.
Deadlines are fun
There is, however, a simple, sure-fire solution: you have to work real quick. So quick that you don’t have time to evaluate your decisions. It will force you to stay in the creative zone (check out the “flow“). All you have to do is the following. Set yourself tight deadlines, so you have a finished song in the end. To make it easier, you can break the process down to separate tasks. For example, set a deadline to come up with a melody, another deadline to put chords under it, another one for making the bass line, the arrangement, etc. You get the idea. What’s important is, you have to take it seriously. That way, you’re going to have something complete for each task when the time is up. This approach is not unlike free writing.
Doing the above way will be rewarding, because you’ll be able to surprise yourself with your own creations, and that will inspire you to create more. You’ll also realize that there’s no wrong way to do something; anything.