I’ve been heartened and inspired again this year watching young artists work hard for their music and their dream; be it to earn a living, or perhaps just a couple of thousand hits on a track on Spotify and a bit of peer recognition.
I’m generally happy and importantly, I don’t think the 20 year old me would think I’m a sell-out (although I’m sure he would wonder why I’m so fat). However, this year I’ve been feeling a bit unsettled. I’ve had few new challenges for years and that nagging “is there something else?” looms over me at 3am. Is this a late mid-life crisis
This spring, I came across local teens Gauranga (now Full Colour) and a few months later I go to their live EP launch. I loved their youthful enthusiasm and in doing a bit of research for the inevitable review, catch one of the guys describe their EP launch gig as “the best night of my life”. Those simple six words make a real connection. I loosely vow to see how many more “best nights” might happen. As it turns out, I suspect they’ve had quite a few this year alone.
Hearing about Full Colour’s recent record label signing, I couldn’t stop thinking about how both daunting and exciting that must be; the sheer amazing ride, but the hard graft and the mental pressure too.
Along with the other acts I’ve been following, hard and honest efforts to improve and to push it as far as it will go is true inspiration. Regular practice, gigging hard, dropping into recording and production studio in between. Art doesn’t come easy (even when you have the support of a record contract).
I enjoy writing. 2 good book plots have come to me; the first is a three book fantasy fiction special. I’d have to bare my soul to its core to write it, and over the past 3 years there’s about 12,000 words of plot and bones produced. There are elements of my entire life, my preferences and fears remodelled. And I’ve thought and rethought it and the story hangs together.
All I need to do is sit down and write it. The word is “daunted”.
Will my writing capacity do it justice, how do I do the descriptive bits, will everyone just laugh at it, will it just slide unread. As one of the scenes in the book has it; I would be hung naked over the market place risking the world pointing and laughing at my (ahem) exposure. Worse, perhaps they will just lock up their stalls without an upward glance.
My second book project is simpler; just 100,000 words or so and far less emotional mining. Thinking about the achievements and hard work of Full Colour (and indeed everyone else) made me realise that a bit of a slog for a few hours three nights a week would get my easier book substantially finished. With the confidence that completing it will bring, I could be in the foothills of the main project.
So just as so many of our young music artists are sacrificing chill time and baring some soul, so am I; my path is just rather more solitary. I’m under no illusion these projects will get published; most bands don’t get signed, most books don’t get published. Although this first book is becoming rather more readable than I dared imagine; call this first effort my demo EP.
My book is currently rough and ready, it will need rework and tidying in the fullness of the process, and it’s currently about rattling out the structure.
Since hearing about Full Colour’s record contract, I have about a fifth of a book written in perhaps 2 months. It’s not a book about music, not a book about teens not a book that has any band name (deliberately) written anywhere in it, but it is a book and a journey inspired by my thinking about what it might feel like to be at the start of what could be a huge adventure.
I’m sharing this tale for a few reasons;
- It’s Christmas and I feel a bit mushy,
- We don’t generally do enough to let people know about the good and inspiration that comes from our connections.
- Now I’ve made this public, I’ll feel pretty damn stupid if by next Christmas I don’t have a completed book and a trilogy in the works.
I want to thank everyone who makes music, you are inspirational even if no one tells you this that often.