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Throwaway Song of the Week

Check out my Best of the Throwaway Song of the Week bedroom-recorded album, and my live streamed showcase of my favorite songs from the project!
Get a printable lyric coloring book featuring quirky photos! For front-and-back printing (PDF) or for simple online viewing (PDF)

The Throwaway Song of the Week is a 52-week long weekly song project that I finished on May 31, 2016. The goal was to get out 52 songs of any kind, sometimes (but not always) on trivial topics, and maybe not life-changing melodies and chord progressions. I once read that you'll write 50 terrible songs before you write one good one. Well, there you go!

INSIGHTS
1) GRATITUDE: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my subscribers are my favorite people in the world! The project would have been nothing without them because the accountability of people on the other end of my emails is what kept me writing songs on the weeks when I was tired and uninspired. Most of them also sent me compliments, encouragement and/or constructive criticism at some point, all of which contributed to making me feel like what I was doing was cool, and mattered. I'm not sure I would have stuck it out without that!

2) I have a lot more music in me than I'd thought. It is actually entirely possible to keep coming up with a new song idea from scratch every week indefinitely. While I knew that career songwriters exist who write 100 songs a year or even more, I thought they were creative wizards or something. Now I know it’s not wizardry, but pure discipline.

3) SKILLS IMPROVEMENT: Obviously, with practice I just get continually better at writing (and rewriting) lyrics and music, as well as singing, playing and recording, not to mention time management and last-minute problem solving! This was true even when I half-assed it, but the more I took risks and followed my whims and had fun with it, the more I learned. However, the half-assed, often formulaic songs I wrote were surprisingly not always the worst ones, and some of them turned out to be among my favorites!

4) SELF-DISCLOSURE: One of the main things I wanted to get out of this was to lose my fear of publicly releasing both imperfect work and deeply personal content. I imagined this as a learning process throughout the year. However, it seemed like the first few weeks actually broke me and I lost those fears pretty quickly. On a somewhat related note, last year, listening to amazing songwriting as an artist used to make me want to give up and curl up into the fetal position. Now it energizes and motivates me to give it my best shot. Progress.

5) KNOWING I'M DOING THE RIGHT THING: I took a break 1/4 of the way through, and secretly, I genuinely believed I would never write music well, and I told myself, "If I can make myself stop caring about music in these two months, I'll just quietly quit this project and songwriting and music in general." I couldn't. A lot of the improvements are slow going and come at great difficulty, but when they do, they make me happier than anything else ever has in my life. This is the thing I would work at all day if my livelihood was sorted and I didn't actually have to work at anything.

SELECTED SONG LIST
(Honestly mostly intended to show off how creative I am with song titles/topics)
Week 1 (3/30/15): How Come You Never Liked My Comment?
Week 2 (4/6/15): My Soulmate Is Trapped on a Deserted Island Somewhere
Week 9 (5/25/15): My Same Kind of Crazy
Week 12 (6/15/15): What's Wrong?* (lyrics)
[Around here is where I had a quarter-project crisis and took a 2-month summer hiatus, but came back strong as ever!]
Week 14 (9/7/15): Imposter Syndrome
Week 15 (9/15/15): Anticlimactic Climaxes
Week 16 (9/21/15): The Jock Never Gets the Good Girl After the Makeover
Week 19 (10/12/15): The Day I Got Two New Left Shoes* (lyrics)
Week 20 (10/21/15): Every Awful Thing He Does Is Magic
Week 21 (10/26/15): If You Want Me* (lyrics)
Week 22 (11/2/15): To Be Weird
Week 23 (11/9/15): The Wrong Side of Pond* (lyrics)
Week 24 (11/16/15): Goodbye, Graffiti
Week 25 (11/23/15): If I Could Have You* (lyrics)
Week 26 (11/30/15): The Misshapen Peg
Week 27 (12/7/15): Inside My Head * (lyrics)
Week 28 (12/15/15): Probably Better* (lyrics)
Week 29 (12/21/15): If I Ruled the World* (lyrics)
Week 32 (1/11/16): I Don't Have All Day (I Just Have All My Life)* (lyrics)
Week 35 (2/1/16): Alone* (lyrics)
Week 36 (2/8/16): We Didn't Drown
Week 38 (2/23/16): She's the One
Week 40 (3/7/16): Pins and Needles
Week 41 (3/14/16): Overachievers* (lyrics)
Week 42 (3/23/16): Ready or Not
Week 45 (4/11/16): Do Do Do* (lyrics)
Week 47 (4/26/16): Insomniac Lullaby* (lyrics)
Week 48 (5/3/16): Amazing/Crazy
Week 49 (5/10/16): Under Your Skin
Week 50 (5/17/16): Deal with the Devil
Week 51 (5/25/16): Another Critic
Week 52 (5/31/16): The Throwaway Song of the Week
* In Best of the Throwaway Song of the Week / available online (see my Music page for listening/download options)