Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo. Consider me an unofficial participant. I won’t just be writing a novel, but a novel and several comic books. Maybe some other stuff. My biggest struggle will be with time management and just letting go of the internal editor. I fight with myself too much when I write.
One site I recently found, which is especially helpful for keeping track of both time and word counts, is WRITE OR DIE. There’s a free online version—put in your desired word count, the amount of time you need—and then just go for it. Let go. Have fun with the story burning up inside you.
In other not-news, I’m a Glen Hansard fan. I don’t like all his songs, but I like enough of them, if you know what I mean.
I found an interview with him the other day—I went looking, actually, because The Swell Season has a new album out, and I like reading what musicians say about their music and song writing. This one’s a little old, from May 2009, but it’s still a good read.
ME: What is your creative process like when you are writing a new song? Does it come from the ether or are you structured about it?
GH: Well, if it’s going the right way, then it’s usually the ether first, then lots of looking at it and trying to see what’s inside it, then chipping away and reworking an idea until it either makes sense or has died in the working…
No matter what the chord structure or rhythm of a song, at its core, the simple ones are best; if it takes too long to write, then the chances are it won’t survive. It’s important to work on a song while it’s still exciting, still got its potential. I’ve started way more songs than I’ve finished. Michelangelo used to go to the marble quarry and work there through the night while the marble was still soft. Straight out of the mountain marble has the consistency of hard cheese, so he would work and work and after a brief time no more work could be done. I like this idea… although it’s not true of song or poetry. It can be reworked over many years… but the first idea hardens, so it’s important to have a respect for craft and work, but never let that become the central reason to write. There’s too much credit given to inspiration and not enough to craft. They co exist and are equally essential…
…Each part of the process has its own value. Writing a song is the most exciting because it’s new, it’s full of potential, it may be the true song you’ve always wanted to write, the one that negates any further writing. It hasn’t been judged by anyone– it’s alive and your close companion.
Another shot from Autumn.