Monday, February 6, 2012

Ira Glass on The Creative Spirit and WORK

This is most certainly true. People jokingly complain that I write SO many blogs, and some, to me anyway, turn out to be awesome while others are total shit. I turn out vast volume of "product," I realize that.

For all intents and purposes, my personal opinion is that the humorous post I wrote about "Escape: The Pina Colada Song" ( was a well-written piece of mock criticism; a piece of work of which I was proud. Some of my manic, not-so-lucid transient thoughts strung together in paragraph after paragraph are often at least entertaining, but definitely not prize-worthy.

(Aside: Pandora went from Rush to Van Halen to Cinderella (??) to Dio (???) to Ravi Shankar. It's as manic as I am. Yes, I "thumbs-downed" the Cinderella and Dio, muted Pandora and threw my iTunes on for a while.)

I don't expect all of my readers to keep up with every post I publish. Who on earth would be that interested in my life, other than perhaps some of the 21 brave souls who publicly subscribe, most of whom are very close friends of mine? And the US Senate Sargent at Arms? And the California Fair Political Practices Commission? And my former so-called superior? And my ex-boyfriend? And the friend from college who hates me? And other various curious snoopers? I sure get a gaggle of unusual visitors to Rhythms from the Offbeat Drummer. I find it fascinating and inspiring to write more. More of what, I'm not sure.

Ira Glass himself advocates producing a LOT of product. That's the only way to hone your craft. That's how you grow as an artist. Kate was telling me about the formal methods for producing a painting she learned when she was at RISD (the Rhode Island School of Design). It's sort of like writing multiple drafts of a piece of writing, which I never, ever do. Kate would do a series of sketches, pick from a handful of those sketches that were good, re-sketch them, pick the best one, and replicate that in paint. (I think that was the sequence she told me.) I don't draft my blogs or any papers that I would write for school. Poems, when I was concentrating on them as my specialty in college often got re-worked per the professor's insistence, though sometimes it went against my grain.

Kate asked me recently how long it took me to write the "Pina Colada" blog. I told her about half an hour from start to finish, not counting the time I spent listening to the actual song. But sometimes more difficult blogs take hours, or a whole day, to complete. A lot of that depends on the subject matter. The more difficult the topic, the longer, obviously, it takes to compose something I'm satisfied with.

I hope my readers enjoy what I write. Suffice it to say as of late, I have a lot of time on my hands, so I've been writing more. I re-read the blogs from the recent hospital stay, and they were as manic and disjointed as I've ever seen my writing. Next time I'm an inpatient? Ask for a nicotine patch, for one thing. And typing them took me forever because I was shaking and trembling so badly, for a number of reasons. Yet will I eradicate them from the Annie bio-log? Hell no. I feel bad enough having deleted some very well-crafted pieces of writing from the blog because I was afraid of what my former so-called superior was doing with information from my blog. At this point, I have little, if nothing, to hide, about anyone or anything in my life.

Unlike Glass, I don't give myself a one-piece-a-week deadline. I continue to write whenever an idea strikes. It's up to you, dear readers, to decide which ones to which you pay attention and which ones you ignore and say "that's just Annie rambling." I'm done trying to taunt the powers-at-be at Balderdash & Verities HQ. It's turned into a colossal waste of time and I'm not having fun with it anymore. To some of you (especially Miss Thang II) this may seem disappointing, but my life is raft with other items of interest, so please do stay tuned.

I couldn't have said it better than Ira Glass. If you call yourself a writer, fucking write. A lot. If you're a musician, write and play a shitload of material. If you're an artist, paint and draw and set your spirit free. If you're the US Senate, seriously, you have bigger fish to fry than my personal bullshit.

Peace and love,

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