Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot as my colleague likes to say. Yes, it is an expression of amazement or dismay. But it also could stand for “Write To Finish.”
I’ve adopted an approach to my songwriting based on this mantra. Write to finish, I repeat to myself whenever I get bogged down with a lyric or musical part. Write to finish.
The idea is simple: don’t get hung up on making it perfect. Aim for a beginning, middle, and end. Push through that sense that it has to be perfect and just get it done. Use placeholders if necessary to keep the process going but aim to finish it.
“Finished” doesn’t of course mean polished. Polishing comes later. Some songs may become reservoirs of ideas for other songs. Other times I might cannabalize a song to use in another song. It doesn’t matter. Writing to finish is an important mantra for me because it helps me to relax about the little things and gives me a sense of freedom that lets me push through the process and give the idea full form and expression. Finesse can come later with three following stages: revise, rehearse, record.