Things in music rarely work out the way we think they will. A song that you’re completely convinced will perform well with listeners falls flat while another you didn’t give much thought to succeeds. Something big happens in your life that you think will lead to lots of great songwriting inspiration, but nothing ends up happening. There’s so much we can’t control in music, which is undeniably frustrating, but it’s also one of the biggest reasons why we have to focus on what we have a say over. Waiting for the stars to align to create music is one of the worst habits you can get into in your music career because it forces you to invest your time and creative energy into things you have no control over.
In music and all art in general, there’s the stuff that thrives in the moment, and then there are the songs that stand the test of time. What was fashionable in music back in the early 2000’s isn’t in favor today, obviously. But while it’s easy to separate what’s trendy from what lasts in music after 20 years, it’s a lot trickier to know while you’re creating. When we listen to contemporary music, we’re exposed to fads that inform everything from lyrical content to production decisions. There’s nothing wrong with listening to trendy music, but letting what’s popular and influential now crowd out your creative intuition and authenticity in songwriting is a big problem.