I'm taking a bunch of posts to look at applying the 'next action' principal of GTD to songwriting. If you missed them, here's the intro, part one and part two.
Say No To Moleskines
Not moleskin! Mol - eh - skeen - ah!
So you're gathering things according what you need to do with them next. That means all the drafts of your current song need to be together. All your potential songs need to be together. All your rejected and finished songs need to be together – out of your sight! Tozier won me over. If you're going to jot ideas down in a note book it needs to be one you're not afraid to rip up and file the pages away (so don't write a different song on the back!).
Speaking of which...
Why not keep everything digital as word docs or even something fancier and shmancier than that? Because sometimes you need to flick through all you ideas quickly (like pages in a book) and sometimes you need to lay out a million ideas where you can see ‘em and move em around (like pages ripped out of a book) but mostly because you need to not see a whole lot of other ideas (like pages that have been stored away in a totally different book).
“But I’ve got a billion terabytes on my laptop and I can store everything I’ve ever written!” you cry. But your brain can’t – that’s the point. The reason songwriters get into this mess is too much raw data. It needs sorting.
That said I do type things up and have digital copies of most drafts. These live in files marked current (songs in some stage of development), finished and old. Old contains a sub folder for each song. The others don't need sub folders as they should only contain one version of any song.
Next time - filing and hording
Related Posts: Writing songs with Joseph Pulitzer
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