+0

"I've come to understand now that in grief, people do strange things so I've changed my outlook towards her calling me, but at the time I was very upset and I wrote the music in one sitting and then I started chipping away at the lyrics as fast as I could. … It was a very, very painful period writing that music."


I always interprete "chip away at" as progressively destroying something. Here it seems to mean finish the lyrics. The musician had a lot of lyrics to choose from and needed to trim everything down?

+1
EyeSeeYouI always interprete "chip away at" as progressively destroying something.

It may sometimes refer to progressively or little by little completing a task. In this case we may perceive that we are "chipping away" at the things that still need to be done, progressively reducing their amount.

+1

It's being used metaphorically here, and the intended meaning is to achieve something by doing small bits of work until the whole task is accomplished. [ cross-posted]

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
+1

Michelangelo chipped away at the large block of marble until the embedded figure he had seen in it was revealed.

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.