Many times, creativity is about how long we are able to hold onto an idea. It's simply a matter of sticking with it long enough for the idea to emerge, tossing out all the obvious along the way.
While that may seem easy to do, in practice it's much harder. Holding on creates tension and demands focus. It tests strength, endurance, and patience, often feeling like maddening ritual without movement.
So what we do is circle back. We hold onto a song just long enough to work through a part, then the tension rises to the point where it is no longer sustainable. That's when the song must be dropped. We let it float to the back of our minds until the rest emerges, as subconscious can be surprisingly powerful when it comes to songwriting.
Knowing when to let go allows for time to recover. Without taking breaks, art making would drain so much energy that it would lead to ruin, making us hypersensitive perfectionists driven to destruction by being too focused on each detail.
Hold on as long as possible, but then let go and circle back.⠀