Ever get to a writing session only to find that there's no chemistry in the room? Well, every co-write is a like a blind date. Or as Forrest Gump said: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”
However it goes, I have a motto that I try to stick by: “Dare To Suck.” It suggests that during the act of SongSex (a co-writing session), one should shed all inhibition and share any idea that comes to mind no matter how absurd, because the absurd can lead a savvy co-writer to the money.
But let’s say you’re one-on-one and you “DTS” and your co-writer just stares at their computer screen or worse...pretends to be texting (as if actual texting isn’t bad enough)? It’s understandable if they aren't into your idea as long as you get a reaction. There’s energy, and momentum in a reaction. Your clunky concept just might move the process along. Plus, it could lead to a good laugh, and humor is always a helpful ingredient in a writing session.
But if there's too much non-reaction and pretend-to-be-texting (who can stand the indignity?) it could be...SongSex Gone Wrong and that's when it's fair to start reassessing the collaboration.
It’s a shame too. Because you were psyched about that session. You had this killer idea—at least you thought so—one that made your heart beat faster. Sadly, it just didn’t have the same effect on your partner-in-crime-for-the-day.
That said, you didn’t find their ideas all that tasty either. You faked some texting too! What’s the point? Life is short. Do we really want to spend 6 hours finishing a song so as not to hurt someone’s feelings? Would you honestly want somebody to do that with you?
Now, three people in a room can break a tie. But 3 can be awkward too...like if you’re the only one daring-to-suck and both of your colleagues are pretending to text. You might ask yourself “is it me?” You might feel yourself shrinking. What if it’s a constant two against one? That voice in your head might say “I’ve been daring-to-suck so much that I actually do suck. If everybody hates my contributions, they’re probably right.
Not necessarily so. Maybe they’re afraid to take a chance with your quirkiness. They’d rather stay on the safe side (yawn). But if that’s the case, it’s just not the right room for you.
So what happens next?
It takes a level-headed craftsperson to realize there’s no shame in a mis-match. It doesn’t mean you won’t/can’t enjoy each other’s company outside of the office. There are thousands of available co-writers out there. So mix and mingle. Change partners. Every new pairing brings out another flavor in your writing style that you weren’t even aware you had. And by the same token your energy brings out the same in others.
So when SongSex Goes Wrong, don’t take it personally. Find another room and move on. Because when SongSex goes right, it’s a beautiful thing.