Re-writing with the Inner Editor

I attended a great workshop recently with Sarah from Song Fancy. It was all about how to come back with fresh eyes and ears to song you've written and refine it. How do you tell if a song needs more work? What are some practical steps to take a song through to make sure the message is clear and the musical ideas are solid? How do we separate ourselves as creator and hear a song we've written as others might hear it?

For Sarah, there's three distinct parts of the self that come into play when writing a song: 1. the Artist who brings a creative expression that's unique and prompts the initial inspiration and vision of the song 2. The Editor who helps to hone the language and musical phrasing of the song and 3. the Inner Critic who usually speaks pretty harshly about the quality of the song, lugs massive bags of self-doubt and nihilism around and tends to generally crap on any artistic merit a song might have. When it comes to re-writing, the only part of the self that's relevant is the voice of the Editor who's sole job is to ensure clear and effective communication.

There's a zillion ways to write a song of course and no right or wrong way of going about it but I appreciate the simplicity of this model. Since the workshop, I've been using it to re-write some songs and I'm finding that once I've let my Artist play and my Inner Critic do it's usual loud rant in the creative process, I can separate myself from the song and see with clearer eyes. When I give a song time and let it rest, then come back with ONLY my inner Editor, I'm less attached and more curious about what re-writing tweaks and edits could focus the message more. It's solid gold to be reminded that the Inner Critic has no place whatsoever in re-writing. There's nothing personal in the editing process, just a question: does each part of the song serve the main message? See the slides from the workshop for more info...