Reiterating the theme of my previous post, I've come to think that the activity of music making, particularly when you're doing it all on your own, is particularly prone to depths in which it is easy to get lost; if you want, you can polish anything to infinitum. There it is for example "Chinese Democracy", a record started with one foot still on the CD era and other in the Internet times... or all those terrifying forum posts where a guy reports that he's presenting the song he's been working on for 15 years... (What do you do next after completing a cycle like that? Maybe they implode like that guy in the movie Scanners...)
The solution to these lingerings (unless you like to linger that much) has been mentioned often and is one of those things that are at the same time both simple and hard to do: before stepping in, make sure you put a stake on the ground; define what you want to reach today. This far from earth-shattering revelation is particularly important in music making. Set the point, and give your best shot to reach it.
This connects with my aforementioned experiences in the latest recording sessions. The other day, for example, I set as the goal for the day to finish a full "live demo", a musical piece that could be listened to from beginning to end. It's the song I'm composing right now, which will very probably be called "Born to ruin", and I needed to patch up the scattered fragments I had into some kind of "whole" to determine what is in excess and what is still lacking.
I reached the end of the session having recorded that "something". I got to the end, but, I felt, at what price. How many times I thought I was lame, I had "cheated", etc...
And yet, returning to the recording the next day, once you take away all the wood chips, cover the microscope, and just press play and let it flow, I found that the result wasn't bad, wasn't bad at all. In fact, some of the "errors" turned out to be very cool and will help me complete the song in ways I would have never expected. The session, the self-imposed mission of "reaching to the other side" was about generating "material", in the same way a silk worm generates silk, leaving the judgmental machine on standby and just having fun. And I'm so glad that I ignored laziness and self-doubt and did it... As usual, my intuition knew much better than me.
I have a guitar and I'm gonna use it