Ever since I started this new phase of routine in my life, I've been taking my morning coffee on the deck. This morning was the first morning that I went out without my phone, I just sat and listened to the breeze and enjoyed the drying rain, trying to come up with something to write about tonight. I had the grand idea of writing about that moment of peace, but now that I'm removed from it, I feel like I couldn't possibly get five hundred words out about that. So, throughout the day I did some more brainstorming and I started thinking, “Hey, Andy Weir published The Martian chapter by chapter on his blog and I've always thought that was really inspiring and cool.”
When I started writing my novel Dear Joseph, I really thought I was going to end up doing the same thing, but it turns out it is a lot harder to keep the momentum going like that when you don't have constraints on yourself. My chapters ballooned to a minimum of forty-five-hundred words and began to get away from any sort of daily dream. So here I am again today to put it out in to the universe, that over the next seven days I’m going to brainstorm and at the end of the seven days, these five-hundred-word posts will start being a story; daily installments of a real writing challenge. I have a bunch of ideas for “series” that these posts could take on. Not that the confessional type blogs aren’t cool or my thing, but I want to get better at what I do, so I feel like I need a goal and something to work towards.
I have no endgame with this story—hell I have no game at all. There’s nothing planned, nothing started, no arbitrary word-count goals for a finished story; everything will be done in service of the story. It will be as long as it needs to be, as long as each entry is five-hundred-words. I’m looking forward to it, I’ve had a few vague ideas floating around in my head for years, maybe it’s time to flesh one of these out. Or maybe, sometime in the next seven days, a lightning bolt will strike. All I know is that when they make a movie out of it, they best cast someone a whole lot cooler than Matt Damon. Knowing nothing about the main character (who doesn’t exist yet), I’d say Cate Blanchette is the most capable actor to play the role. Mainly because I’d get to meet Cate Blanchette and I’ve been in love with her ever since I saw her play Jude Quinn (Bob Dylan) in I’m Not There. Cate Blanchette is the man of my dreams in the queerest of ways.
But, back on the story; I’ve learned one thing from the smouldering mess that became Dear Joseph: the importance of planning. This story will be plotted out before I start, because I know one day of slim ideas could spell the end for me and playing defence against my bad habits is just as important as playing offence with my words. I’m already excited to sit down and create something that can be viewed as a whole again. My album, End of Side One really got my mind set in the mode of “completion,” and with the Mom’s House EP just about out, I think I’ll really be able to take some steps as far as my craft goes.
Every time I accomplish something musically, it starts something in me. With End of Side One, it was realizing that it feels amazing to be able to call something finished and to show it off (P.S. buy a copy of the book and album here), and now that I’m about to release lil’ album number two, I truly think that I have finally found the doorway to my oeuvre. I can see my training wheels, I just have to get to them taking these lil’ baby steps. The music makes me write, and the writing makes me make music, and the longer I spend on it all, the further I get from my long-form mind, and the hungrier I get for it all. It’s become a self-sustaining cycle of art—now all the only thing left to do is get mothafuckin’ paid.
See you tomorrow.
Yes, I said Cate Blanchette is cooler than Matt Damon. Deal with it, bud.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.