Yesterday I wrote about attending the Eagles concert in Portland last Saturday night and promised real takeaways from the experience for today. So here we go:
1. Put it all out there. Writers, put it all on the page. Painters, put it all on the canvas. Musicians, all in the song. All you got, every time. This reminds me of the second to last night of American Idol this season, when winner Lee DeWyze sang his heart out through two songs. By the end of the second one, he appeared completely spent, like he put everything he had into his performances. Awesome.
2. Everything counts. Or, staging matters. Attention to detail is very important and this is a crucial point because many creative types (um, like me) are visionaries, and less wont to deal with the trivialities of details. Bad mistake. A typo on the first page of your manuscript might cause an agent to toss it into the round file. A caveat: deal with the details as the very last step, okay? Don't let them bog you down in the white heat of writing a first draft.
3. We're so lucky. Okay, I touched on this yesterday, but it bears repeating. Being a creative person, particularly a writer, is the best existence on the planet. I often wonder how my non-writing friends make it through life. As a writer, I make sense of life by writing stories about it, which gives it meaning. Without that, what do we have? A series of seemingly unrelated episodes.
4. Keep it going. Whatever you do, don't lose the connection to your work. Your writing or your creative work can and will change. For a few months you may concentrate on blogging as your main outlet and then you get an idea for a novel and get so engrossed in it you forget to blog. Doesn't matter. What matters is putting words on the page, one after the other, in some form.
5. Lower your expectations. I have seen the Eagles twice before, and Don Henley twice also. Recently have been listening to so many teleseminars that I've not been as into music as usual. So I wasn't waiting with bated breath for this concert. Then it got rescheduled and that made it lose some energy for it as well. But, oh my God. The concert reignited my passion for music, for the Eagles, for creativity. And I don't think it would have been as powerful if I'd been eagerly anticipating it. Because, as the Buddhists know, sometimes having expectations just ruins things. So, too, with your writing. Don't expect anything except to show up at the page.
6. Be in it for the long haul. At one point during the concert, Don Henley said he'd been doing this for 40 years and was finally kind of getting the hang of it. Enough said.
7. Allow the old to nurture the new. The band played all their old standards–Take it Easy, Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, I Can't Tell You Why, Desperado (and there's nothing better than when everybody sings along to all the words of the old hits)–but they also played the newer and less familiar songs from their latest CD.
So that's it, my final word on music and creativity and writing. At least for the weekend. Have a good one, everyone. And comment on music, creativity, the Eagles, writing, or even what you plan to do this weekend.
***By the way, the fact that it is Friday has not escaped me. Besides looking forward to the weekend (wine on Friday night is a requirement of life) the significance of Friday is that it is Friday. Friday, when I am supposed to alternate between running guest posts and mini-critiques. But, alas, I cannot do that if you do not send me guest posts or material to critique. So c'mon, save me from having to write five days a week and send me something!