“What if the best that I can be just isn’t good enough?
Isn’t it better not to know?”
Jonathan Coulton, Big Bad World One
It is hard not to wonder exactly how good your ability to write songs is. Constantly. I tend to like the results, but I’m hardly objective. Other people tell me they like them. Actually, I just realised, no-one ever has ever been objective, so let’s not worry about that one.
And there’s the point. What is a good song? There’s obviously not a correct answer here. Just look at music criticism. Or the comments section on a youtube video of a song. Actually definitely don’t do either of those things. It’s just not worth it.
Every time I start down this rabbit hole, I just remember that ultimately, I get to write songs and I’m lucky enough to even be able to record them to a half decent standard and then put them somewhere where anyone might find them, and, potentially, like them.
As to the whole question posed by the song quote above, I simply don’t believe that everyone can be excellent at something. It’s a constant refrain in our society that everyone has their skill, the one thing they can be the best at. For some reason this is often implied to be a creative thing.
Of course everybody can be creative, but that doesn’t mean we can necessarily ‘excel’ in some area of the arts. And the chances of the thing we gravitate to naturally and enjoy doing being the thing we can get to the top of the bell curve in are even slimmer. In life the majority of us will fall around the middle of the normal curve.
But it doesn’t matter. It’s definitely better not to know. It’s much more important to enjoy yourself and damn the critics. And to never read comments on youtube.