I’ve written a little about fitness and dieting and my different approaches. There is one method of dieting that if I employed it would work every time. It’s to do something creative. There have been times when I’ve been so focused on something creative that I go without eating. I don’t even feel hunger until I pause my work. This happens with artists, scientists, and probably other professions. (We also sometimes go without attending to hygiene.)
Recently my church hosted this year’s district conference for our denomination. I’d not attended any other prior to this, so I didn’t know what to expect. I certainly didn’t assume Brethren delegates would resemble creatives at an arts conference in Chicago.
See, I have a couple story ideas. Basic plotlines and characters for two different novels. However, I’ve not dabbled in fiction in quite a long time. Really, not since high school English class. The same could be said of composing. I was prolific in high school. I’d sit in class and write lyrics, which I’d set to music later at home. Now, none of it was any good, but at least I was exercising that creative muscle.
It’s said that Mozart at an early age—not sure when but later than five, when he started composing—had to choose on which instrument he would focus his efforts, violin or piano. Perhaps because he was more of a perfectionist than I am, he decided on one instrument, whereas lately I’ve preferred guitar, even the electric over acoustic.
Writing, what good does it serve? I should say, what good does it do me? Or more precisely, how does it serve my readers? Is it just an outlet or something I’ve got to get out of my system, like an artist who must paint or a musician who must compose? What if I’m not feeling it? Should I only write when I want to? Surely discipline is good for working your craft. I’ve made it far as I have in music—wherever that is—because of discipline. Do I really have aspirations as a writer? Is that one of the goals? Simply to become a better writer? Maybe. Here’s why I think I write, what the point is of Say What You Will—why I say what I will, if you will.
The incomparable Abraham Laboriel has been considered one of the most widely-used session bass players. His handling of a 4-string (or 5-, 6- or whatever he’s playing) can be heard on over 4,000 recordings. Here is just a handful of those he’s played for: Donald Fagen, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Ray Charles, …