Free (At First)

Still recovering from everything: the tour, the marathon, getting sick, growing up. I’ve been feeling a little better: cough’s going away, voice’s coming back. Optimism’s on the rise.

I wrote a piece on The Wallflower’s new CD for Their “Bringing Down The Horse” was a big influence for me in the late ’90s. I listened to it non-stop as I road tripped to Graceland the week before I began working for the mighty Viacom. So I was eager to hear their new album, which I dig. The interesting part of the process for me, though, was discovering (again, perhaps) how impossible it is to write these pieces without projecting my story onto theirs (see “Red Letter Days Shows Wallflowers Aren’t Leaving The Dance”).

The article ended up being “How To Endure In The Music Business,” which you, dear reader, will surely recognize as a familiar topic on these pages. My favorite part of the story, ripped straight from the band’s bio, is the following quote which I could have easily said myself (all be it on an up day):

There is that saying that ‘It’s not a race, it’s a marathon.’ I’m not even into that. I don’t see anybody in front of me or anybody behind me, and there is no finish line. You just keep going.

I’ve also been doing some thinking about what motivates me to write songs, record and perform them. It’s a complicated question. Without revealing too much (‘cuz for God’s sake, I have to keep something for myself), I thought I’d share this cool quote from my former creative writing professor — and hero — Tobias Wolff:

“It isn’t just for the product of the story or the novel, but it’s actually for the experience of that bliss that you sometimes do have when you write, as you’re somehow transported or elevated. So that’s what keeps you going back. It comes to you free, at first, and then you have to work for it.”

And… so… I just keep going.

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