I've been hanging around with musicians too much lately. The problem is, that instead of making me want to sit down and fix my pilot (some members of my extremely demanding writers' group insist that I include a plot!), musicians make me want to:

a) Sit down and write an album full of 3-minute pop masterpieces in the style of The Magnetic Fields.
b) Grab a few fellow musicians and run away on tour, forgetting all about the responsibilities that bind me to home.

This kind of thing can only be a detriment to my writing, not to mention my sanity. My logical mind realizes this. Still, I wrote the lyrics for the first track this morning and that's only the beginning.

I am infamous (in my own head) for getting distracted mid-stream. When I was a kid, I played trombone. Yeah, I was good. I rocked that frickin' thing. But, instead of working harder to become the best trombonist that ever lived, I decided to learn the French horn, the tuba, the baritone, and the trumpet. So now I can play them all to a fairly good level, but I wouldn't say I excel at any of them. Work has been the same way. After three or four months, any job just seems to repeat itself indefinitely -- yawn. When I lived in Vancouver, I had seven different apartments in three years, and then I moved to Victoria, London, LA...

All very amusing, since among my various groups of friends, I'm always known as The Responsible One.

The thing about writing is, it's been pretty constant in my ever-changing life. I've always done it and I hope I always will. Writing lets me, at least vicariously, be an expert in so many fields, become a different person every day (or every scene), and keeps me entertained and engaged. The fact that none of it is real -- I'm not sure that really matters.

But the question is, how do we, as writers, keep from being distracted? Writers are, by nature, interested in people and the world and all it has to offer. How do you stick with this one thing, despite the thousands of other opportunities opening up around you?

Artery Cloggery
Running around with rock bands is also very bad for one's arterial health. Now that the musicians are gone, so are the fatty foods. Which is fine by me. I actually prefer lightly grilled veggies and tofu anyway. But I do miss the musicians!

1 comment:

Norlinda said...

Go with it. Just go with it. This from a person who has an easel, brushes, paints, and canvas sitting idly in the closet---I thought, briefly, that I was going to be the next Monet.

I have accepted that I'll never be really good at anything, but the trade-off is that I'll have a whole bunch of experiences to write from. Besides, it's the writing that really matters.