Bad habits: we all have them. Hygiene, diet, not taking care of ourselves–the older we get, the more we realize how detrimental these bad habits can be.

But bad habits can also spill over into our professional lives–in this instance, songwriting. There’s a great new piece over at Soundfly about how to break bad songwriting habits–some of which we may not even know we have.

These bad habits include:

  1. Not finishing a song, AKA the “I’ll Do It Later” excuse. Remedy: Finish the song (or attempt to) while you’re present, and in the moment.
  2. Trying to get it perfect the first time. Remember, songwriting is an exercise and a practice just like anything else. Remedy: Don’t focus on perfection. Focus on consistency.
  3. Giving up on the song because it didn’t turn out well. Remedy: save your failed songs. Get some distance from the song, try approaching it from a different angle, and you might be surprised by what comes up.
  4. Always writing in the same environment. The place you’re doing your writing absolutely matters. Remedy: try shaking things up a bit and trying to break out of your comfort zone.
  5. Using great lyrics in an otherwise underwhelming song. Remedy: try writing a new song based on those new lyrics–don’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water.
  6. Deleting lyrics and/or memos, ideas, etc. Remedy: organize your audio files and try piecing them together in a different way.