August 27, 2007

Finding Time to Write

I love to write. I may not be a great writer, but I love the process of seeing thoughts take on some discernable form and being made available to anybody who cares to read them. I love writing. There is something about picking up a text and knowing that the moment of its creation is being shared across time with somebody who cared enough to read what was written that I find intoxicating. I am not a profound thinker. Nor am I a great poet – I do struggle to find the right word – that warrants publication for the ages. No, I am common. But I love to write.

The problem is that I have a very full schedule. I also love to play music. Music takes work. Wood-shedding is a lonely process of repetition until the riff sounds like music. It is painful. It is hard. But it is the price of making music. I can’t play an instrument if I don’t practice until the riff is under my fingers without the need to think. It has to be as fluid as speech.

And there is the irony.

Speech is not easy, either. It is not enough to have something to say. We all have something to say. It has to be said in a way that warrants the attention and honors the gift of the reader’s time. Writing requires practice. Writing requires wood-shedding, as well. There is a rhythm to good writing, a flow that feeds the imagination of the reading, using words like strings and drums, leading the reader into the mind and heart of the writer. This is where poetry and music coalesce into song. By song, I don’t mean the majority of the crap that passes for music on the pop charts. I am looking for something that is more beautiful, more honest, more passionate still.

Art is not easy. It is a harsh and demanding mistress that requires time, effort, pain and ultimately the soul of the artist. It is a bargain with a devil that tempts like fire tempted Prometheus asking if you are willing to allow the eagle eternally to peck at your liver so your sister and brother may take fire for granted. And so it is that some of us are seduced by the siren sound of the call to be an artist.

I have to practice. I am driven, compelled, to make my music better still. And I love to write.