Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Writers and artists aren't machines."

There is a really excellent blog today from Neil Gaiman, who goes into some detail about the time and energy it takes to create.
You don't choose what will work. You simply do the best you can each time. And you try to do what you can to increase the likelihood that good art will be created.

And sometimes, and it's as true of authors as it is of readers, you have a life. People in your world get sick or die. You fall in love, or out of love. You move house. Your aunt comes to stay. You agreed to give a talk half-way around the world five years ago, and suddenly you realise that that talk is due now. Your last book comes out and the critics vociferously hated it and now you simply don't feel like writing another. Your cat learns to levitate and the matter must be properly documented and investigated. There are deer in the apple orchard. A thunderstorm fries your hard disk and fries the backup drive as well...

And life is a good thing for a writer. It's where we get our raw material, for a start. We quite like to stop and watch it.
This is so true, and lately I have been acutely aware of how much life has been putting us on a bit of an unwanted hiatus. It happens. I used to fight it in the past but in the last few years I have realized how futile that fight is. I think that's why Somniloquy was a lot less stressful of a record to make, because we didn't fight against life, we worked when life let us.

Reading this blog led to a conversation this morning with my friend Matt, a fellow writer, who offered the following observation:
mattnuez13 (10:51:35 AM): u know what else is beautiful: I was thinking about u and D and ur albums, esp. the new one...
mattnuez13 (10:52:07 AM): and I realized, more consciously perhaps than I have before, how much of an actor you both are, as a band, in creating your albums
mattnuez13 (10:52:28 AM): and that has so much to do with how scenic and storytelling-landscape-esque your productions are
mattnuez13 (10:52:43 AM): you guys find an idea, and then follow it down the rabbit hole
mattnuez13 (10:52:53 AM): and immerse yourself in it and research and ponder
He's right, and it's something I've never considered before, that because I come to this music process as a life-long classically trained actor, I can't help but put a million miles of thought and research and backstory and almost Meisner-level preparation into the songs. Funny thing to not realize after all this time, but it makes perfect sense that one discipline informs the other. Thank you, Matt!

This all being said, we are working on a lot of projects right now that we are looking forward to sharing with you all as soon as the Flying Spaghetti Monster allows.


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