Having received more than a few inquiries from my Facebook friends and ReverbNation associates about my intermittent activity on the Internet, the following explanation is offered. As most everyone knows, these sites are capable of consuming huge hunks of time and it is with this knowledge that I have made a conscious decision to avoid the computer in order to devote all of my energy to songwriting, recording, and turning wrenches. Therefore, for the past month or so, I’ve been immersed in recording, guitar repair, and cylinder head work.
Inasmuch as the songwriting portion goes, there is, what I like to refer to as ‘passive’ songwriting. That is to say that I don’t ‘try to write’. It has become my modus operandi to simply let the music and songs come to me as they will, and the process works out rather well. Once in the ‘recording mode’, the songs just begin to filter down, and all that is left for me to do is to get onto tape what I hear in my head. That may sound somewhat esoteric and arcane, but this is simply the best way to describe it.
If I try to write, everything tends to turn out sounding redundant and contrived. This I hate. Once the process begins, however, it is something that is quite constant, and I find it more conservative in regard to total time spent to give myself over to it completely until such time that it ceases of its own accord, thus my absence from the Internet sites is duly noted and addressed.
I do like to post a blog on occasion when a subject comes to mind. It helps me keep up appearances.
A bit more on writing to those who may be interested.
A couple of weeks ago, my son was reading a piece I’d written earlier.
“You’ve used the word ‘I’ too many times,” he observed. It was humble pie directly to the face. My own advice had come back to haunt me.
“True,” I conceded, “but I was writing about me.”
“That doesn’t matter,” he continued, “you can always reword a sentence to avoid overuse. You used it six times in one sentence.”
He was right. I was identified with my subject matter and there had been a strong emotional attachment, which explained everything.
For many years now, it has been a practice of mine never to write a song in first person. To my way of thinking, this leads to no good. It also is the best way to develop writer’s block, create boring subject matter and come across as being self absorbed. When one writes in this fashion, the possibilities are immediately limited to ones’ own experiences. I don’t intend to speak for anyone else, but life has been pretty boring insofar as writing songs about me goes.
At best, all first person writing is good for is a couple of sappy love songs, and few more blues songs after the relationship has gone kaput.
Now, we all can name songs which have been written about courtship, and then there’s a couple of wedding tunes, but can anyone name a ‘We’ve Been Married Twenty Years’ song? Not too many ‘Honey, I’m Picking Up a Gallon of Milk and a Newspaper, See You at Six’, or ‘Meatloaf Serenade’ songs out there, are there?
Sure, there are songs full of promise, and tunes such as ‘I Love You More Today Than Yesterday’, but I can’t say with any amount of certainty that Dude was married when he wrote that.
This isn’t to reflect badly on marriage, it’s just that there’s such a limited amount of material there.
Unless you want to count that stupid ‘Pina Colada’ song by that guy whose name I don’t even remember.
Oh yeah. Rupert Holmes. What a dillweed.
Now that nonsense will be playing in my head all day long and I won’t get any work done. Sheesh. I hate that freaking song.
See why I stay off of the computer when I’m trying to write and compose?