Told You I Was Back At It

Only a nine day layoff this time around.

Here are some things:

  1. The novel–The Birth of Birds–is indeed finished. I’ve been in the midst of an 8 month search for an agent (did I mention this? I think I mentioned this). It’s actually gone well–about 20% have asked for a full or partial manuscript–but alas, I’m down to the last half-dozen or so that have those full manuscripts and where I used to get about a rejection a week (or more), I’m getting like a rejection a month. And some of them are so kind, kind enough to live off, probably for the rest of my life. But I have an ego, like everyone else I suppose (those possibly bigger than the average ego), and it is feeling tender. So what to do?
  2. Start something new. I’ve been working on both a new novel and some short stories. I’m afraid I’m much more suited for short stories–either because of my attention span or because of the precision they require/share with songwriting. Both processes have been enjoyable and I wish I had a better memory for that because I tend to go days (sometimes 9 at a time) without working and start to get a weird brain-buzz until I get to work again. It’s good to have the work.
  3. I started playing in a band about six weeks ago. The Ruralists. We’ve had a handful of shows (including one tomorrow night) and have been working on an EP/demo and fleshing out songs from The Birth of Birds. It has been a salve or a balm or something like that. Straight up calamine lotion. I’d become so accustomed to the brain-buzz that accompanied not playing music that I’d almost gotten to the point where I could totally ignore it. Almost.

Hopefully I’ll have something more than complaints and updates in the near future. Gotcha catch a flight home from Michigan now.

Back at it

I haven’t written on here in so long that I forgot my login and password. Whoops.

Here’s why I’m back: It’s been one whole year since I wrote a song and last night as I was falling asleep I had a mild panic attack that I’m mid-thirties and washed up and I’d never write another song–or at least a decent one–ever again. It’s the kind of thing that comes washing over me on occasion.

Really, the occasions are seldom. I tend to walk through the world with an inexplicable confidence. I told Sarah a couple years ago that I just assume everyone in a room likes me and she looked at me as if I had suddenly started speaking Sanskrit. I just assumed everyone lived this way.

And I think I usually write this way. But back to those occasions: My first reaction is to start pointing fingers. Eight months of agent rejections! Or maybe the contentedness of a simple life! (I will blame anything.)

But I know what it is: Effort. Songwriting–any writing for that matter (if you only knew how many times I used backspace on these 200 words)–takes effort. Sitting down and doing. And this seems like a good place to start–there’s no risk, no editor, no hypothetical book deal. Just me speaking into the wilderness of the internet: It’ll get better.