It’s well and truly winter now. The clocks have turned back, meaning the black of night comes as soon as half past five. And coupled with the kind of gloom that steals what little available sunlight we have, I’ve been in a shitty mood too much of the time. I need one of those SAD lamps or something.
Not every day has been so shitty, mind you. I can see blue through the skylight as I write this. The Mets made it to the World Series (I know!). I watched a half-decent live WWE show (twice!). And I dragged myself out of the house to see the Deathcrusher tour in Dublin on the bank holiday (Voivod? Great, set too short. Napalm Death? Also great, poor sound. Obituary? Tight as fuck but no stage presence. Carcass? Second time round, a bit too slick for me; the light show was like something from Vegas).
As for work? It’s work. What I’m bothered most about is my music writing, or recent utter lack of it. I’m still so far behind, both listening and writing, that I’m just gonna have to draw a line somewhere. Zero motivation to put into words what I feel even about stuff I know I really like, which explains the few half-written drafts of half-formed thoughts in my notes app.
Writing about film is often a lot easier for me. There’s a story to outline on top of the performance and production aspects, which helps the words flow. Music has those aspects, too, but less of the story part; describing an album, especially a good one, is not an easy task, even without having to worry about revealing too much of the plot or whatever. Dancing about architecture, etc.
But hey, at least I’m writing this! And I blurted out 1,800 words on last weekend’s WWE happenings, so it’s not writer’s block as such. Maybe a tinge of imposter syndrome? I read so much good music writing out there and it seems so effortless for them, I don’t know how they do it. Actually I do know, because it’s the same for me writing about practically anything else at the moment.
Last night I had a moment on Twitter when I realised I haven’t done a music-related interview in, what, over a year? Maybe more? One reason for that is that transcription is the Worst. Thing. Ever. Another part is that talking to strangers, especially quasi-famous ones, is ridiculously intimidating to me, despite my past experiences being uniformly positive: everyone I’ve interviewed, especially over the phone, has been warm and gracious and kind and giving to me, this schmuck they don’t know trying the best he can to ask questions they haven’t answered before.
And even then I look at what Jonathan K Dick has done with his project Steel for Brains and the rapport he has with his subjects and I’m like, how do I get that confidence to dig deep or even just ask the right things? How do I switch to feeling more like a peer and less like a clueless fanboy? I don’t have any answers, which then makes me feel like I’m not asking the right questions and… you see where I’m going here?
As I said, I don’t have an answer. Maybe it’s just a matter of doing more in smaller chunks, little and often, experience through practice, practice through experience. I’m definitely a better writer now than I was three years ago, but all I can see are the flaws. And yet, maybe the flaws are all I will ever see. Maybe what I write isn’t really for me to judge.