Over the years I’ve known plenty of songwriters who have given up on a perfectly good songwriting idea just because there was the slightest possibility that it would sound like something else.
This comes from having an unrealistic concept in their head that all great songs must be 100% totally original or absolutely perfect in its execution.
If you’re reading this and find you feel the same way about your songwriting then let me say this… Perfection and total originality are but figments of our imagination.
That doesn’t mean that all songs written from now on are boring carbon copies of songs past. NO!
A song might not necessarily be perfect or totally original in comparison to other songs in its sound and structure, but a song can be unique. There is a difference.
As well as being a songwriter, you are also an individual human being, one of almost 7 billion that inhabit this planet and you are uniquely different to me and everybody else. There has been no one else like you and there will be no one else like you.
YOU are it.
The way that you see the world, the experiences that you’ve acquired through your life and your hopes, goals and dreams are all uniquely yours to either keep to yourself or to share with the rest of the world through your songs.
YOU are the originality behind your songs.
Once you realise this inescapable fact, you’ll finally get off of the “my songs must be totally original” trip that stops so many songwriters from writing.
This excuse is right up there with “my songs must be perfect” and “I don’t know what to write about.” All these excuses do is stop you, the songwriter from doing what you absolutely love to do… Write new songs.
My advice to you (this is something I’m concentrating on myself for this year) is to work out what it really means to be you and from that, define what your unique qualities and your individual view of the world are.
Once you start writing songs from your newly discovered perspective you’ll be writing songs that will be totally and uniquely YOU. You won’t need to worry about comparing your songs to others anymore.
Just remember, there has never been or ever will be another person like you ever and you can’t get any more original than that.