I woke up this morning with an itch to create. To write something, to make something, to do something. To use my hands for something that would last beyond today.
I'm listening to Joni Mitchell's Little Green, and reading the lyrics online, and for the first time, I'm seeing the song for what it is. A story about three lives, intertwined briefly, and where they go from there. About having to choose what seems like the lesser of two evils, and what that feels like from the inside.
It's about something real. Capturing a certain moment in her life, and opening it up. The art of what to say, and what not to - when to hone in, and when to abstract. The sweet and shifting balance of airing her self out, and letting us in.
I woke up this morning with Stephen King's On Writing neatly placed on the pillow next to me. I've been re-reading it for the past few days; I'd remembered it was great, but I couldn't tell you why.
A few chapters in, and I remember why. There's nothing particularly clever about his writing, nothing particularly florid in his language, nothing so ground-breaking in his style. But when Steve King writes, you want to keep reading.
I woke up, this morning, a little antsy. With an urge to drive, and nowhere to go. I've got some projects on my mind, things that I'm really excited about, but I keep getting hung up on the details. Those snotty little details that always get in the way of the big ideas. The ones who sit just at the edge of your vision, waiting to ask you how, when, and why. Those goddamn know-it-alls that you always wanted to punch in the nose, but hey, you wouldn't hit a kid with glasses, would you? You don't want to get in trouble, do you? Oh, I know just what your mom will say...
The details always seem to know just what could go wrong. They've got 52 volumes at home of Why This Is A Bad Idea. But do they ever have any fun?
I'm at a crossroads in my career right now. I had one goal in mind for a long time. To create my calling card, the credentials that would define me as a musician, and pass from hand to hand, accelerating, pushing me forward.
I made my card. And the few months since then have focused on those hands. How to get them to cup my name and deliver it faithfully to another set just as willing. How to fine-tune and maneuver the process into a state of perfect mathematical induction, where each pair implies the next, and I'm sitting back and relaxing, pencil in hand.
But honestly? I just want to write. I just want to keep doing and making and writing and being. But I've never quite known how. When I listen to Joni, it feels so clear. That I need to start with something powerful and personal. That there need to be cafes and deep sadnesses, longing, and hope, and the glimmer of redemption. But when I read King, it's about constructing the narrative. About looking up at the sky, and choosing. That one, that one, and this one. These are my Big Dipper. These are my Belt of Orion. These are The Story.
What do I want to do? What are my tools? How do I write?
I wish I knew. When you need to tear something down, the little details can always be counted on. But when it's time to build, I'm not sure where they go.
It's time for me to start learning how this works. Do something. Test. Try again. Do something. Test. Try again.
Do something. Test.