RIP Leonard Cohen – one of the truly great songwriters. I discovered this quote from him in an article today, talking about the fact that he would often write a full verse and then cut it:
“Before I can discard the verse, I have to write it… I can’t discard a verse before it is written because it is the writing of the verse that produces whatever delights or interests or facets that are going to catch the light. The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.”
You might feel you’re no Leonard Cohen (I know I’m not) but I love his point that no writing is wasted, even if it’s not used in the final product. It’s the writing itself that produces the ideas – you can let that piece of writing itself go once it’s done its job if necessary. It’s throwing yourself fully into the process without being overly attached to the outcome.