Monday, 23 November 2015

Habits new & old.



I've read it's no more difficult to develop a good habit than a bad.

A man with many of the latter I remain skeptical of the supposition.

I am trying to make a habit of regularly posting entries here.  It does not overstate the case to say it is causing some difficulty.  There are explanations for that but like masturbation though rationalizations feel good in the moment the only one getting screwed by them is their author.

Call me old-fashioned but I prefer the company of a willing participant when indulging my personal appetites.

The fiction writing habit supersedes the development of a blog entry habit as much as anything else at this point.  The daily rehearsal demands imposed by my ongoing career in live music – such as it is - further intrude upon my time.  To place the marketing and promotion of my just released first novel behind those activities reveals the actual prioritization of my professional energies.

These terms a man must regretfully and, if only to himself, admit are the facts of his professional situation.

Thus my interest in the development of new habits, good ones if possible, is revealed.

When writing fiction I work on a six-days-on, one-day-off weekly schedule until completion.  I follow a similar schedule when revising and editing my work.  As a writer of novels I tend to spend less time writing, overall, than many.  One of many good fortunes related to this fact is it allows a man to work only at writing fiction when not on the road working exclusively at performing music.  As both activities tend to require extensive planning they are easily adapted to an annualized calendar.  This makes scheduling months of a particular activity both realistic and appropriate.

For those who might wonder I gave up writing short stories many years ago due to not being any good at it.  Though scarcely better at writing longer fiction the novel format allows sufficient time for even a hack like me to make his point.

In any case, that is the claim with which I plan to stick.

As the truth of the 'all first drafts are shit' statements made ad nauseam by writers throughout time has proven absolute in my case even blog entries require a cursory edit.  That imposes the additional need of a standard twenty-four-hour 'cool down' period before wielding the editorial pencil in these parts.

I trust you can see where this leads.

For though able to look back on a twenty-eight-year career of professional music and songwriting the work habits of a performing songwriter scarcely approximate those of the working novelist.  The structure and planning essential to the latter is more often than not unavailable to the former.  This is exaggerated if the songwriter earns a disproportionate percentage of his living by touring as in my own case.

I've written a lot of songs in hotel rooms and between countless rehearsals as a result of the terms of my professional life.  Though often serving to improve the flavor of a musical composition such freestyle creativity has proved anathema to writing prose.  At least it has in my case, and I speak only of my personal experience when placing words upon any page.

Now editing the follow up to my first novel imagine the traffic jams I'm dealing with among the metaphorical bats calling the belfry of my mind home!  New habits are in the forming and the old dog may ultimately prove less than adequate for the teaching.  While unfortunate to lack intelligence it turns out the stubbornness of a fool may again deliver my salvation.

It would appear I remain too stupid to quit.

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog.

-          TFP
November 23, 2015


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