reading, writing and rock & roll
*Warning. In this blog you will actually learn something about me. For those that don’t wish to go down that road, and I can hardly blame you, turn back now.*
It was a classic case of sounding good at the time. Looking back now… not so much. Let me explain.
When people think of rebellious people they generally tend to view them as handsome or pretty, sometimes both, and having a lot of options. It seems counterintuitive to have someone who is rebellious when they don’t really have the choice to be part of the mainstream anyway but that is where I sat growing up. Quietly rebelling against the norm and at the same time aware that the norm had very little interest in me or my opinion of them. As cruel as it might sound it is also true that many losers try to be even bigger losers in order to make people believe they had a choice in the matter to begin with.
That was me.
Those 2 words would end up playing a pretty big part of my life; cruel and true. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which was which and when and where the 2 overlapped.
So I became a musician in order to exercise the demons that so often forced me to choose between cruel and true. I wrote a lot of songs about cruelty and truth and eventually found out I was as big a washout at playing music as I had been trying to ‘fight the power’. “Why do all the words have to rhyme all the time?” I would sometimes query… often in the middle of a song. The (cruel?) truth was that I wasn’t very good.
So I tried writing. As you’ve seen. Lots and lots of dumb stories about lots and lots of dumb topics. As you might expect, there are liberal doses of cruel and true involved but I’m sure that surprises nobody. There were the same battles against non-existent foes and the same posturing that I could, if I wanted, write mainstream but I chose to stay true to my contrarian roots.
Then came the idea to publish a book, which in the end turned into 2 books. Here was the classic blunder of style over substance. I decided to thumb my nose at convention and just print the stories as I’d written them… mistakes and all. At the time I swear it seemed so rock & roll, like I was a garage band opting to record their songs in their basement as opposed to go to a big polished studio. In my head I thought that the misspellings and grammatical errors would seem somehow endearing to a reader. Like every mistake would somehow carry a little excitement with it, an energy you wouldn’t find in the typical book. I was going for Paul’s voice cracking in “Here Comes A Regular”.
The stupid variety of wrong.
I’m learning as I go that there are differences between music and literature, how they are communicated and how they are absorbed by the audience. It’s actually quite interesting the more I delve into it. I started reading books on writing and even watched a few lectures on Youtube. Now you’ll NEVER catch me going to a writing class or attending a seminar with flocks of wannabe-writers sloshing around desperately looking for advice and someone who can help them in their career but I am starting to respect the art a bit more.
And the first thing I’m learning is that I have to correct stupid shit before I release it in a book. I can fuck up all I want on my blog, and I do, but my next book I’m going to have to break down and pay an editor to read the damn thing and make some corrections.
Honestly I’m not doing it for the numerous reviewers who have reamed me for my amateurish approach to publishing my stories but I’m doing it selfishly for myself so that when people read my book they won’t think I’m a total retard. Which is how I felt when I actually took the time to read one of my books the other day. There was nothing cool or edgy about the mistakes, they just annoyed the shit out of me.
So I guess this is my way of saying that I will try my best to stay both cruel and true… even if it is at my own expense.
Fight the power.