It has been a long time since my last post, and if truth be told it has been even longer since I’ve sat down and tried to piece a novel together. My last feeble attempt was a few days ago when I brought up a document containing Sole Mate (the first novel from my shape-shifting narrator), read a paragraph or two and then deemed the task too difficult. It’s no secret that I hate editing. It drives me crazy, and unfortunately it’s an extremely important part of writing and I have a lot of novels in need of scrutiny. Aside from the odd attempt to edit, I have started a couple of short stories and toyed with some ideas for novels that were started an age ago.
And so what, you might be wondering, is this new endeavour? Well an idea surfaced at the end of last year, one that seemed both great and terrifying to someone whose comfort zone is contemporary fantasy. Many people probably think that if you can write, you can write anything, but that really isn’t true. Not that it stops people from trying. So, sitting with up and coming photographer Aron Murray one day whilst he was busy arranging to attend a concert where he could put his talents to good use, it occurred to us both that we could team up and start a music blog. Okay, so it’s not the most original idea in the world, but it had a certain pull to it. Enough of one to spur us into action, anyway. And by that I mean create empty blog, facebook and twitter pages in anticipation for what I could only assume was going to be a failure. Don’t get me wrong, I had every confidence in my comrade’s ability to produce great photos, it was my own task that worried me.
Due to the bands being so small and so there not being much information on them on the internet, it fell to me to ask them for some very basic information. This meant stating my reason for contacting them, which naturally led them to asking for a link once the blog entry is ready. So before I’d even stepped foot in the venue and discovered whether or not I have the ability to write about live music, I had people waiting for the result and eager to assist me in my task. Great. It’s fair to say that I was extremely nervous as I settled down at the back of the venue and loaded the notes section of my phone.
But then the first band came on, and I found myself writing. And writing. And soon enough the band was done and I hadn’t even paused in my note-taking. The same happened for the next band, and the next, until my thumbs were hurting and my battery slowly draining. It seemed that this wasn’t such a horrifying challenge after all. Well at least not until it came time to write the damn thing.
Yep, that part kind of fled from my mind. Of course the notes weren’t enough to post as they were. That would have been humiliating at best. So then came the monotonous task of trying to use my notes to paint a picture of the gig. My aim was to describe what I’d seen like it was a scene of a book, taking the reader through the gig so that they could envision what had happened. Think, if you will, of someone describing the scene to a person both deaf and blind, if it’s possible to do such a thing. I didn’t seek to put my opinion of the bands across or criticise them in any way. It wasn’t meant to be a review, not exactly.
So what did I achieve? A review, and a poor one at that. I soon realised that I know nothing about music other than whether I think it is good or not, which is not at all helpful when trying not to give an opinion and wanting solely to describe. My aim was lost along the way and the result is something that’s lengthy and not at all up to the standard I’d hoped for. My worries of being a terrible writer seemed to express themselves in every terrible line I was writing. But did I stop? No. In fact, not only did I keep writing, I have since posted my piece on the blog that I’d so eagerly created. And why not? Blogs are meant to be about expression. Actually blogs can be about whatever the hell you want, so I figured I might as well put it up. I am a writer and this is something I wrote. It might be bad to me but it could well be good to others. I’ve always been my own worst critic, which it why I dislike editing so much. My new endeavour may not have panned out as I’d hoped, but it is a learning curve. If I am still wanted to continue with the blog and write about future concerts, I will, because there’s a learning curve that I’m more than happy to navigate. And it gets me writing, which is something I’ve sworn to do more of this year. Perhaps this new project will be so trying that I’ll run back to fiction with my tail between my legs. If I’m lucky, my characters will welcome me back with open arms. Here’s hoping.