Writer’s Block?

How Long (c) 2007 Chris Falson

Being a writer, whether it’s music or other could seem like a glamorous way to make a living. It’s not really. It’s a job like any other.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing and recording music, and that’s about all I know how to do, but it’s work none the less. Some days I am full of inspiration and time passes quickly and then there are the other days….. well you know what they are like. They are slow and boring. You feel like you are sinking in mud and by dinner time you look at your work and think ” this is a load of $%^&*UI!”
The major difference perhaps in being a writer to most any other profession is that you have to make yourself write, cause no-one else will. And because there is usually no-one looking over your shoulder and rarely an authoritative voice reminding you of your responsibilities you tend to find other things to do, even tidying up your office….. or calling people you don’t even like ….. or reading the latest John Le Carre novel, justifying to yourself that it will sharpen your writing skills etc etc.

There are days, weeks, seasons when I am swamped with too many projects to write for and…. I have those glorious deadlines hanging over my head. Then I have these patches of no work…. not even on the horizon and then I have to make myself write. Sometimes after too much writing, recording or even touring I feel all written out and when I try to come up with ‘something new’ it sounds like everything old and I usually walk out of my room in disgust….. often sneaking off to the library again which is just a few blocks away, to borrow a book….. any book into which I can escape.

Early 2006 I was in a season like this. I tried to write everyday and I think because I didn’t have anything I ‘had’ to write about (or for) I just wrote a bunch of very average pieces. Then I read this book by Anne Lamotte about writing called ‘Bird by Bird’….. and this book changed the way I write everything. Without ‘telling all’ (you must read this book if you are interested in any form of writing)…. there was one gem of an idea that leapt off the page into my brain….. and it’s still swimming around and around and around…. and it’s about following the rabbit….. the little idea(s) that interrupt you…. often perceived as silly, or a waste of time.

We serious writers have everything worked out, a purpose, a plan, an audience in mind, a beginning and an end…. and so therefore we must clean our mind of any distractions.

After reading Bird by Bird I threw caution to the wind…. and I started following the rabbit. What I once perceived as the thief of concentration, of discipline, of productivity turned out to be a somewhat playful explorer, an adventurer, a time traveler unconcerned with boundaries, etiquette, political correctness. I discovered that the rabbit lived inside my subconscious and he (could be a she) helped me explore this other world, a world of magic and mystery, of things unexplained…. a place of never ending stories (and all those conspiracy theories)….. it is the world of paths not yet trodden…. virgin snow perhaps.

I know I am rambling, but this song/piece is one of the first I wrote and recorded after following the rabbit. In truth I had no idea where I was going with this, and today as I listen to the track there is something unsaid, something unfinished about the song…. and I like that.

It is said that the best teachers ask questions rather than provide answers. It’s not that I have a lesson to share…. just a lot of questions.

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6 Comments

  1. I like the song; very much so.

    Asking questions to teach is called the “Socratic” method. Jesus, used this method often. It provokes others to thought and develops critical thinking.

    For a songwriter, maybe it causes the person to interpret more–more like a Jackson Pollack painting rather than a Monet?

    Love bridget

  2. Even though I have not had any of my writings published, I do consider myself to be a writer. There is so much in my mind that I would love to share with others through poems or even songs that it seems like I can’t contain it, but there it stays, for weeks, months, even years at a time. One of my life goals is to have some of my poems or stories put to music. I have a very deep passion for music, and I do play the guitar, but I can never quite find the right way to express what I feel when I play. I guess I have writers block in a different way, it’s all in there, but I just don’t know how to get it out. I think most of us who love music could say that. And I don’t mean just singing in the shower. I mean real heartfelt creativity, something that you know is only yours. Someday I hope to reach that point where I can truly share what is inside of me. Thank you for sharing with me. Chuck

  3. I followed the rabbit for awhile…I got hungry and whacked him with a stick…needless to say I’m not hungry anymore. Maybe a joey will wander by.

  4. Doesn’t much matter if the rabbit’s a he or a she,
    just as long as there isn’t one of each…
    You’d end up with a headful of rabbits,
    and that’d be more confusing than writer’s block!

    –Q

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