Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Getting It All Out

What do you do when you have too much to say? Where do you start? How do you wade through all the bullshit and get to the really good stuff in your brain, the stuff that inspires, that stuff that captivates, the stuff that you're most proud of sharing?

Well... you don't do it by doing nothing.

Say too much. Aim too high. Stretch too far. It's easier to pull back than it is to push farther (farther or further?).

I purchased Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon today. I've read the post from which this book evolved, and it is amazing. There are so many simple, amazing, insightful ideas, and the advice flows clearly and logically, and it pushes your buttons and has you smacking your forehead and thinking aloud, "Why didn't I think of that before?"

The greatest ideas are like that. It's as if they've always existed and someone just needed to come along and articulate them.

Great songs are like that, too. "I'm right here. You just need to play and sing me. I've always existed. Just come and find me, bro."

And this post has morphed into a ramble.

No. Wait. Focus. Focus. Getting it all out... the name of the post is "Getting It All Out".

Get it on the page. All of it. Every single thing you can come up with. Get it on the page.

Then edit.

But that's not how I do things. I do very little editing. It's all about... feel.

How does it feel? Does it feel... "right"? Because feeling right is almost better than feeling good and the two feelings are not always synonymous...

When I write a song, I don't get it all out and edit. Wait... I have done that before. With one song in particular. I auto-wrote and recorded live version after live version and then finished the song... wait... songs. There are multiple songs I've done this with. And they are "finished" or as finished as they can be... but at the same time they're never finished.

That's what I want to do. I want to write songs... that are never finished... because they are different every single time I play them. They are based on that singular moment, on how the audience is reacting, on how much I've had to drink, on if I've had a bad day, on if my guitar is out of tune.

Wait... any song that's performed live is like that. They are never finished. The audience listens and brings their own baggage to the song, their own point of view, their own customs and morals and connotations and individual understandings of language, spoken, instrumental, body...

And you change, too. You play a song that you wrote 4 years ago, and it's the same song, but it's not the same song because you're not the same person. 4 years pass and you're in a different place and you don't even remember the actual meaning of the song but you perform it and bring your current self along for the ride.

All of this has led me to one conclusion.

I need to play live again, more, weekly...

And I shouldn't title my blog posts before writing them...

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