When you find yourself explaining your presents to those assembled to watch you open them, it’s a fairly good indicator that you’re hard to buy for. Either that, or the people who got you the gifts spent a lot of time thinking about exactly what would make you happy and then have gone massively out of their way to go so far above and beyond that you don’t quite know where to put all the emotions.
I turned 50. And so I thought I should write something wise about the lessons I have learned. Only, I don’t have so many of those, so here’s a song from my old band, if my band had been any good.
So I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about the media formats on which we compile and listen to music – tapes, CDs, iTunes playlists and so on – and how the various affordances of each of those formats shape the nature of the mix.
For the past few months, on and off, I’ve been working on my next book and I think it’s starting to come into focus enough to be able to start talking about it. It’s still a long way off, and I’m very much in the researching and collecting thoughts stage – but it’s taking some sort of shape in my head and that’s a good moment for something like this.
In order to be good at something, you need to first spend time being bad at it. Musical instruments, and particularly the violin, where ‘bad’ takes on whole new layers of meaning, are very good examples of this idea.
I’ve written pretty much every day for well over 20 years. On average, somewhere around 1500 words a day. Often much more. I’m not talking about emails or text messages. I mean stopping, sitting down and writing for no reason other than to write.