Friday, 20 May 2011

GTD For Songwriters (pt 4)

Here's another post applying the principals of GTD to songwriting. If you missed them, here's the intropart one, part two and part three. Today, let's look at clearing the backlog.

Being a song filing champ isn't the Win you're looking for

I’ve started to make a few steps on this journey of reclaiming all the old material from my files. It feels great. At least one song which I thought was a great concept turned into a great song (Everything Is Broken) and others that turned out less great are now out of my hair.

That said, it’s important that we don’t start filing wild geese by making 'sorting out our archives' our sole goal for the year. A chef doesn’t have the right to feel he’s getting somewhere cos he finally cleaned out his spice rack. Productivity for song writers means writing songs.

Diary of a recovering song hoarder

Here’s what I’m doing. I’ve got my potential folder containing the last few years worth of ideas in there. Songs in the front, single line ideas in the back. I’m still finding songs masquerading as single lines and vice versa. I’m starting to pull out the single ideas that are actually titles and group them together.

From that I select ONE idea at a time and put it into a wallet folder and work on it till it’s finished.

I’m also ripping up my old note books. Songs I’ve finished are easy to deal with. Each song gets it's own poly-pocket in an alphabetised folder three folders four folders). All my rejected ideas and songs go there too. That one step alone means half the pages I've accumulated I’ll never have to look at again. My head feels clearer already!

What about audio? Well that 's more of a work in progress for me – but I'll be back on Monday to share what I've come up with.

No matter how original you think you are some one has always thunk your thoughts before you. Graham English did a great (and very short podcast called Songwriting For Busy People that I'd recommend - unless you're too busy to listen to it. He covers some of these very same points.

Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick

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