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Take heart, songwriters. Even Josh Ritter writes crappy songs.

As he says in this clip from a recent Berklee Online session, “The default setting for writing is failure to get what you want.”

He then quotes Jay-Z: “It isn’t a loss — it’s a lesson.”

Ritter talks about working through those failures, chipping away, until he finally arrives at the songs that made all the failure worth it. For some writers that might mean completing 100 songs to find the 10 best gems.

How many songs do you throw away? How do you know if a song is any good? Let me know about your process and what you do with the misses in the comments below.

(And thanks to Matt Wheeler for the question that prompted Josh Ritter’s response).

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