It dawned upon me some time ago, and I've had abundant opportunities to test it in this home recording stuff of mine.
The unexpected guest in my plans to record stuff was, guess what, inventory! The black beast of Lean. And for good reason. What a source of headache having 25 half baked songs in a folder! You get different formats from different versions of a program, files that get lost (or take forever to be found because they were filed under different systems...)
I'm a good finisher in other creative areas (writing, for example). So I don't think it's a case of "quitting when the going gets touth". Rather, the matter with music is that you need to cool off things longer to recover perspective, so easily you start fooling around with a new song while you wait to erase the impression of having listened to the previous 5,000 times in a row in search of pops and cracks. Add to that the whimsical nature of musical inspiration, and you're blown. Wowsers. 25. When I think of it...
But I'm better now because the light has been finally focused upon the problem.
This comes to mind because my current song in process is something that I started 6 months ago, and then abandoned... in this case for physical reasons, so pretty justified, but the effects of the cooling off have been as ugly as usual; I'm finding that it's much easier to start a new song from scratch than to resume one that was left in the works, so, as was expected, the nature of the problem has changed as I look into it, so now I have to study what happened and steer accordingly.
I used to be pissed every step of the way; "if only this stupid track didn't have that problem at the end, I would make my schedule". But that's the realization: those obstacles are not unexpected foes conspiring against your otherwise neat work. Those obstacles (borrowing the name from a recent book that I haven't read) ARE the work. You have to face them and only when you do that your work becomes real. Otherwise you live in "how things should be" land, a projection of your ideal process, that does not exist, so you cannot learn anything, and you live depressed. I'm glad I've made this realization more conscious lately, and I'm sure it will add to the personality of my future works, in some subtle way.
I have a guitar and I'm gonna use it