What's Love Got to do With it?

Every artist has that little naggy feeling in the back of their mind every time they create something:

This sucks.
You suck.
Stop sucking. 

So what do you do with that feeling? You have to shut it down and ignore it. At least partially. The best advice I can give you is to listen to "Die Vampire, Die" from one of my favorite musicals, [Title of Show] (warning: explicit language).

But even after you've decided to buckle down and just make that art, sometimes you still have those weird little thoughts creep in unexpectedly--and about the dumbest things. I recently finished writing a Christmas carol with lyrics by Louisa May Alcott (find it in "High School" works). It's intentionally modal in the first section, and I wrote in lots of parallel fifths to reinforce that. Now, I write with parallel fifths and octaves all the time, because I like the way they sound. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I still see my undergraduate theory professor marking up all my scores with red pen: WRONG!

I know that there's a lot of precedent in the 20th century for composers deliberately writing parallelism into their music. I also know that the "rule" of parallel fifths was really just a reaction to the distinct sound of plainchant. Still, somewhere along the way, these ideas just get stuck in my mind somehow.

In the end, I think the only correct answer, if you trust yourself and your craft, is to go "Do I like the way that sounds?" If the answer is unequivocally and undeniably "yes," then you shouldn't change it.