I’ve written a lot of music since I was 15 and most of them were dead on arrival. I mean they were so bad that friends who found out that I wrote those have unfriended me. They said my songs are so bad they give music a bad name.
I must have written around 100 bad songs out of 105. However, the 5 songs that I think are good, are indeed very good. They are not hits but somehow they mean something to some people.
Yet despite the ugliness of the 100, I still listen to them and even play them in my own private time. Why? Because they are my mine. They may trigger migraines (one guy actually said that), but they are tunes I created and I am very proud to have written them.
This is why I still write a lot of music despite the very poor batting average. It’s just a fun thing to do. I know that music is meant to be shared and hopefully liked by all of humanity, but those are not the reasons why I keep the music playing. My reason is love.
Aside from cool vacations to faraway lands, my idea of a nice time off is spending days in the studio writing and recording music. it’s such a happy and exhilarating activity that I completely lose track of time.
The other morning, I started my session during breakfast. But when dinner time came, my breakfast was still on my recording desk, untouched. There’s nothing like making music. It demand full attention and focus. Remember, that task is to organize sounds floating in air into a complete whole full of harmony, rhythm, melody, and words. From songwriting to recording to mixing to mastering the entire process is like observing a life well-lived. It’s joyful, beautiful, and full of love.
And that is why I still write after all these years. Yes, a lot of folks don’t like the music, but that’s not what motivates me. I don’t write for them. I write for the process. I write for me. Now if people like some of the songs, like those 5 that went on to become familiar to most, that’s a bonus but again, not the purpose.
I think this is why I am never afraid to release my music to the world. I just don’t care what other people think. Migraines? Yeah, go see a doctor.
Why would I let something like that stop me from doing something that I love? A lot of my songwriter or artist friends struggle with this to the point that they would stop creating just because some person criticized their work. I always tell them: “How many times have we fought for things that we love?” I’ve screamed and shoved people who tried to cut in line at my local Shake Shack, which needless to say, I love very much. If we’re willing to risk life and limb for a Shack Burger, why the hell do we give in so easily to people who say our art is bad?
While I have 100 songs that are terrible according to friends and other people, that won’t stop me from writing the next 100.
Love what you do.