A few years back, I had a ton of musical ideas floating around my head. I wanted to write it all: hip-hop, EDM, singer-songwriter, lo-fi, dubstep. I wanted to release albums in every genre I loved, multiple albums. I wanted to be as prolific as Andrew Huang and Steve Aoki. Songs for days.
This, of course, takes a lot of work, and I used to be pretty ADHD when it came to writing. I’d finish a singer-songwriter track one day and be working on a house song the next. I’d think, “I’m so versatile!” Before that next song was finished, I’d be messing around on another beat, and after that a third one. Eventually, none of these got finished and I’d start something else.
It’s pretty easy to get side-tracked if you don’t have a focus. I’ve found it helps to have a goal. For instance, over the Summer I made “Lo-Fi July.” During the month of July, I had to write three lo-fi songs. Having this clear objective helped me focus my time and actually get it done. For the next month, I had a new genre to write in.
Whenever I was writing and came up with something cool that wasn’t in the genre, I would shelf it for later. It did wonders for my productivity.
It’s great to be prolific, to write a lot and make a lot. Just don’t fall into the trap of being a kid in the candy store when it comes to writing. There’s a lot of great sounds, ideas, and styles to pick from, but don’t jump around so much that nothing gets done. Be disciplined enough to finish. One completed song will teach you more than 10 unfinished beats.