If you’ve ever struggled to complete a song or a project, you’re in the right place.
Two weeks ago you learned how to effectively capture your ideas in an ‘external brain.’ Then, last week, you learned the best time of day to sort your song ideas.
In today’s post, you’ll learn…
How To Manage Writing More Than One Song At A Time Without Becoming Overwhelmed.
If you’re preparing to record an EP or an LP, this will be gold.
Last week we ended with the question:
Upon realizing that a song idea has potential, what are you going to do with it?
To answer this question, you must first realize that writing a song is a project. A very small project but a project nonetheless.
And it might even be part of a larger project, such as writing an album worth of songs. Or a year’s worth of songs for your publisher or subscribers.
You Need To Learn How To Manage A Project Effectively To Avoid Overwhelm and Writer’s Block.
The tool I recommend for managing projects is a free piece of software called Trello.
My team and I use Trello all the time to keep track of each production we’re working on. I use it to keep track of content creation, such as this blog or my email series.
I also use it to keep track of any other projects in my business or personal life. From “make a new website” to “landscaping.”
Trello‘s like a cork board with different columns on it that you can move Post-It-Notes back and forth on. Except it’s digital.
In Trello, the columns are called “lists” and Post-Its are called “cards.”
Your job is to move the cards through each list from left to right until the card is in the “done” list.
Here’s How You Get Started
First, create four lists:
- “Backlog” = tasks that aren’t a priority yet.
- “Doing” = tasks you’re doing right now.
- “Waiting” = a task that you’re waiting for a 3rd party to complete.
- “Done” = completed tasks.
Then, create a card for each potential song on your album and title it “Record Demo Of [Working Title Of Song.]”
Next, within the card create a checklist of everything that needs to happen to turn the idea into a demo of the song.
Here’s an example:
- Write intro music.
- Write verse music.
- Write verse lyrics.
- Write chorus music.
- Write chorus lyrics.
- Write verse2 music.
- Write verse2 lyrics.
- Write bridge music.
- Write bridge lyrics.
- Write outro music.
- Record 1st draft voice memo of a song.
- Send to [producer] for feedback.
- Create the final draft of voice memo.
- Record more detailed demo.
Once you’ve checked off each box in the checklist, you can move the song’s card to the “done” list.
By seeing every step you need to take, it tells you exactly what you need to do each time you sit down to work on that song.
This might sound like overkill to you. Or you might think that it will choke the creativity out of things but I’m finding that it does the exact opposite.
You see, we are creative beings. You are creating all day long especially when you’re NOT trying to be creative. That’s why you set up an external brain, as I described in the first blog post of this series.
This system actually results in more creativity and more completed projects.
It stands to reason that you’ll become a more prolific writer by working this way.
Here’s my theory on why:
As I mentioned in the first blog post of this series, your brain is great at creating ideas but sucks at retaining them. In an attempt to hold onto an idea your brain “loops.”
“I need to do that thing,” and then you forget about it. So your brain reminds you, “Oh yeah, I need to do that thing.”
This constant interruption will limit your productivity.
Instead, when you store your ideas somewhere else it’s freeing. The brain knows that your ideas are captured and relaxes.
And once that happens it frees your brain up to generate even more creative ideas.
Maybe the exact idea you need to finish that song you’ve been writing?