At an early age I loved reading. I remember my mother encouraging us to go to our local library, discover the different aisles of books and to not be afraid of opening our imaginations to the written word. I think by the age of 6 I would sit up in my bedroom, fold construction paper to make it look like a real book and then just start plotting stories and characters to develop my own writing. Even though math came very easy to my mind, I always had an idea in my head that I would become a published author.
I feel comfortable communicating to people through the written word. It’s not that I believe I’m a poor conversationalist face to face (ask any of my friends who’ve known me through the years), I just think I can compose my thoughts effortlessly with this medium. I didn’t feel intimidation when given a topic to expand upon, or even coming up with my own fiction and non-fiction tales. Through practice and the care of teachers and professors who only were looking out to make my writing stronger, I believe I’ve moved into a period of my life where I want as many people as possible to share in my thoughts.
My reviewing and interviewing when it comes to music is a different type of writing than the writing I do here. I’m aware that as a critic it’s my job to be informative, analyzing recordings individually against the backdrop of certain genres, other artists and possibly the artist themselves with their own discography. I want to make the reader feel like they are not only learning something but also can walk away feeling like even without hearing a note of the music, they can make a better decision on whether this is for them or whether they need to find another source for the music needs.
As an interviewer, I want to know the musician, their history, their thought process and make the reader feel like they can connect in another fashion. I research, I prepare, and I’m flexible as many artists will be willing to talk for long-winded sessions while others just prefer, as Aerosmith once talked about, to “Let the Music Do the Talking.” I want to get answers out of the bands and people I talk to that aren’t standard, by the book and cliche- because who gains value in that?
Why do I write a blog? Why do I journal? I would say at this point it’s a mix of stability, sanity and exploration. Ideas and thoughts can lead to action- and I want to make sure whatever action I’m taking can be something I’m proud of. I’m willing to move people- make their minds ponder emotions, feelings and questions that maybe they’ve never really taken the time to think of and apply to their own lives. Capturing words on paper or in a digital media format gives me a recorded history that I can look back on, reflect and respond to. You have to be willing to give of yourself first to make writing a moving experience- and if you are able to connect with others in the process, that’s a welcome bonus.
So if I could suggest an early Christmas gift idea for the family and friends- find items for them to record their thoughts. If not on paper with a journal, how about a digital voice recorder? Maybe offer to enroll them in a writing course offered at a local college? Reading and writing are skills that can take you to world unimaginable. Engage your family in the art of creativity- they’ll be so happy you’ve opened this bright tool in their treasure chest of offerings.