“Everything that you were meant for
Everything that you were born to do
Does not need you to do it
Someone else was born to do it too”
- Joe Pug, How Good You Are
“The noun is wrapped up in the verb.” Or… “A writer writes.”
Writing: A Recap
I wrote that originally in a blog entry back in 2006 after the publication of my first book. The blog entry, re-written, can be found here. It is basically some thoughts on the topic of those who express an interest in writing but do not write. Hint: This could apply to anyone/anything you hope to pursue.
Getting published by a major publisher was a pivotal moment for me. I’d had numerous articles published in the years prior, including in The Wall Street Journal online. But seeing my book in bookstores and on library shelves was (and is) exciting and validating.
I had also been signed to two other book deals - a book on consulting and a children’s book. Both of those projects have languished.
The consulting book due to my failure to produce. I could blame my divorce and the subsequent depression I fell into but that would be too simplistic an answer. Besides, I’m not really interested in letting myself off the hook that easily. Excuses, whether having some validity or not, are still excuses. And rarely are they good reasons.
The other book, a children’s book, had been promoted by an executive at my publisher. He loved the concept, though the book was problematic. In fact, while I still refer to it as a children’s book, I more accurately describe it as a book for moms and their kids. Much of the word play and topic is beyond most children.
This publishing executive, however, found a publisher and we started down the path of work on the project.
This was 2007. That was the year my wife and I separated. It was also the year of “the flood” - when, three days after my wife moved out, a monsoon storm caused the wash behind our home to overflow, fill our backyard and then our house, with water and mud.
A day after that flood, sitting at a friend’s house trying to figure out next steps, I received an email from the editor at the children’s book house. They had decided they wanted the book to be completely changed to fit their non-rhyming literary style. They also wanted it re-written to a 4th grade conceptual understanding.
In short, they wanted the concept but gutted the heart of the project.
I don’t begrudge them this. Publishers live in fear of publishing books that don’t sell to their audience. And for a creative endeavor, publishing is horribly non-creative. Meaning, if their wheelhouse is non-rhyming literary fiction, that is what they are comfortable with.
I contacted the executive who had been helping pitch the book and we both agreed that it no longer made sense to go through with the deal.
Needless to say, the book still exists and I still want to do it. Publishing has changed a LOT and I am working with someone to find the best way to produce and publish this project.
Writing is Still a Thing
Why am I writing this?
I’m not really sure. Except that, I still LOVE writing but I’ve been doing far-less of it. Well, traditional writing.
Songwriting Took Over
Since 2006, I’ve been doing significantly more songwriting.
I’d always written poetry and a song or two a year. But since 2006, I’ve written a couple hundred songs or song snippets. Most of those are decent (in my opinion). Some a very good!
And even more recently, I’ve jumped into more engineering and production - of my music. That is a topic for a later blog entry.
Mostly I’m writing this as an exercise and as a self-flagellating reminder.
I want to write 30 minutes a day. And I sort of like self-flagellation. I’m happy to smack myself around a bit. It doesn’t make me feel badly as much as the lack of production does.
And voila - there you have it.
If you are a writer… write. If you are a songwriter… songwrite... write songs... you get what I'm saying.
I’m both… so… I will do both.