“Write the Bad Songs Too”

Last week I finished reading “Adorning the Dark” by Andrew Peterson for the second time. It’s an excellent resource for Believers called to serve the Lord through art (writing or creating music), but is a good book even for those who aren’t blessed with artistic abilities.

After finishing the book one phrase kept sounding in my mind…

Write the bad songs too.

Peterson tells about a young woman who had asked him when one of his first albums came out for advice on creating music.

On a CD he wrote the words “don’t write bad songs.”

This may sound arrogant, but his point was she should pursue excellence in her artistic endeavours. Put in the hard work instead of being average.

She then showed him what a fellow musician (and friend of Peterson) had written on the CD after reading his comment.

In clear letters under his autograph he wrote the words “write the bad songs too.”

Andrew Peterson tells this story because it shows the balance between creating something excellent, and creating things that are mediocre (or even bad). This balance is found when we understand it’s only after writing the bad songs that we get enough experience to write the excellent ones.

The fear of failure is one Satan’s most powerful tools to keep us from obeying Christ. The shame of trying and failing (or writing bad songs) keeps us from attempting anything at all.

What we don’t realise though is those bad songs, or failures are what make us stronger in the future. It’s those lessons we learn the hard way that make the most dramatic change in life.

We will still feel awful when failure comes, but thankfully failure doesn’t define us.

So write the bad songs too for the glory of God.

Because He takes great pleasure in using weak things.

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