Sunday 23 February 2014

Slight Progress

Holy fucking christ I actually did some work this week. Nobody was more shocked than me this Tuesday evening, when I sat down with my laptop, opened up all my many notes on the book, and while once again staring blankly at a load of incoherent babble of clever stuff to try and hide inside a nice little story, I thought “Fuck this, I shall just write some of it”. And so I did, I briefly outlined the second chapter so I had no excuse to stare at the fire and get distracted, and then wrote.

Ok, so it was only about 45 minutes, and I only managed a page and a half before I got bored, and started drinking, but hey, progress is progress, and I deserved that drink.

Obviously, the rest of the week was a lot less productive, I only worked two days, and had no band rehearsals, but I did spend two evenings learning very difficult songs for a dep gig, that was then suddenly cancelled. Which is always helpful, in its own marvellous way. I had a couple of lovely days out with the wife, and the dog, and some friends who were down from surrey. I also had a bona fide gig on Thursday night, so all that time was not wasted, and no procrastination was involved.

I also got a new microphone, and a bunch of stands and leads for the studio, and thus spent a fair chunk of time fiddling about with them to see how they work. They work fine, I have tomorrow off work as well, and will be attempting to record some music rather than do any writing.

Rest of the week is interesting, I think I have two rehearsals with two different bands, I am trying to write a bunch of new songs as well for another recording project. Hopefully there will be a bit of time to scrawl some stuff down in the midst of all this. Oh, and I just remembered that app-writing course starts tomorrow as well. I may be screwed here.

My obsessive planning idea was clearly a dumb move, and far too gargantuan an idea to have ever attempted, so I may continue as I did on Tuesday, knocking out the odd page when I have a minute or two to kill, and only lightly planning any of it. There are still a couple of hours to go until it becomes wine o'clock, so I might get some more done today. Course I might just start drinking earlier, seeing as I'm not at work tomorrow.

I am still aware that none of this is of any interest to anyone other than me, but I will continue to document this blindingly dull information every week. Sorry.

Sunday 16 February 2014

I shall quit everything else and be more productive then?

Yes, this week my oldest enemies have returned to me. I have started to persuade myself that I don't need to do any thing useful, as long as I am relatively chirpy and have enough free time to go out and have lovely fun times with my wife, catch up with people in the pub, play a few gigs, go wandering with the dog and sit around watching telly and drinking then everything will be fine. I almost believed myself again. It's an age old attitude of mine, that if something is causing me stress and anxiety, I shall ignore it and hope it goes away. And generally, my creative endeavours do.

 However, I remember it was this attitude that meant the 5th Plastic Squirrel album took me 4 years to finish. And yes it was good and worth the wait, but had I not spent so much time “waiting for inspiration to strike” it would have been finished a lot quicker. Especially since inspiration had bugger all to do with it, and I got most of it done in the last 3 months of working on it when I got sick of having not done it.

I have also started to think that if I left every single band I am involved in, and just played music at home and in the studio for fun, then I could get more work done, be happier, and spend more time with the family, a total win win. Except that I remembered I tend to be really very annoying, and quite miserable if I'm not in any bands. Mind you, the general attitude of "all other people who do music are rubbish, and disorganised slack twats" has also popped back up, and every gig I see advertised, and every song I hear on the radio had me tutting in disgust at how shite they all are these days. Again, the other Dave in the back of my head is kicking me and telling me not to be such a dick over such inconsequential bollocks. He is right, most of it's pretty good stuff. Though I am still tempted to quit playing with other people again.

So, has this launched me into a frenzy of work you ask? No. No it hasn't. I was going to, but I needed to learn a bunch of songs for a dep gig (I haven't done that either) and I had a couple of rehearsals for proper bands as well. Then I bought a new guitar, and spent far too much time playing it and thinking how pretty it sounds. Am wanting to do that again right now in fact. But I realised that I am already 3 days late in writing this blog entry. Irony strikes again.

I had yesterday afternoon pencilled in to do some proper writing, but then I had to go and do the shopping so we could eat. And on the way home I noticed that the pub in town which had been closed for ages had reopened, so I persuaded Netty to pop down for one and see what it was like. Unfortunately it was pretty good, so we didn't get home for a good 3 hours, and I was in no state for writing by then, and had agreed to cook a marvellous feast for our tea. Managed the cooking (only a bit burnt) but no work done. Which was fine, I knew I had today free to do some anyway. Enter a very long walk with the dog, quick visit to the car boot sale, cleaning up the kitchen after some drunk twat had burnt all the pans in there last night, popping down the road to catch up with some friends, and a few cups of tea, and here we are. Half an hour away from Top Gear and wine o'clock, and nothing doing (still haven't learned those songs either).

Have some time off work this week so might get something done, admittedly, I also have plans with the wife, some friends coming down from london and a couple of gigs to fit in. And that guitar is still new, and still sounds lovely. I suspect that even this blog might get neglected. However, I will not listen to me when I say that it's ok not to bother, and that another year of getting nothing done is ok. Mind you, there's one more track to finish for the next Plastic Squirrel EP, so that might get in the way a bit as well. If only they'd stop putting programmes on the telly, I might fit some stuff in of an evening. We can but hope, particularly as my wife keeps asking me if I'm still writing that book, and if she can have a read of it soon. I don't think Netty reads this, otherwise she'd know the answer to that question.

Right, lets have a go at these songs then.....

Sunday 9 February 2014

An Angry Round Thing Enters The Room

By angry round thing, I mean vicious circle, the usual one, it has returned in its usual guise and posed its constant question. Am I thoroughly miserable because I can't manage to get any writing done, or am I unable to get any writing done because I am thoroughly miserable? Now given that there is really nothing else in my life to make me thoroughly miserable, I am going to plump for the former. This has been going on for years, I decide to do something useful (say record some lovely music, or write a book) and then get hit dead centre with a foul case of writers block. Obviously it has happened again, and when I manage to find half an hour or so to get some work done, I stare blankly at the screen, devoid of ideas before telling the computer to go fuck itself, turning it off and doing something else instead, in the vain hope that inspiration will strike. It invariably doesn't. Hey ho.

Anyhow, for this weeks procrastination, I spent a goodly long time justifying the existence of this blog to myself after it was pointed out to me that there is no good reason for anyone else to give a flying fuck about my inability to write myself out of employment. This is entirely true, but as I seem to remember setting out in the first instalment of this essentially futile gesture, it may serve to ensure I do some work if an entirely fictitious audience is tutting disapprovingly at me online as I document my failures. The dog's scathing looks are no longer enough to push me into working.

So last weekend, I set up in my summerhouse, turned on the laptop, and suddenly discovered I had a really good wifi signal out there, and scrolled through twitter for an hour or so, before remembering why I was out there. I then dug up a load of old short stories I wrote many years ago in another fit of trying to exercise my mental muscles, and read them as well. Then it got cold, so I went inside and watched telly in front of the fire with the dog. Much nicer.

This week, I have been learning a bunch of songs for a dep gig, which is less procrastination, and more productive, so I feel justified in that. I also had 2 rehearsal sessions with 2 bands I am actually in, so that was ok as well. Less easy to balance is the evening I spent with my guitar and a bunch of amusing Nick Drake tunings seeing if I could come up with some interesting musical ideas to play about with and maybe write some new songs. It ended just as badly, not a single idea (well I've got 3 lines of lyrics to play with and no music to go with it) and with the usual listening to records and drinking cider.

Even this blog of procrastination is late this week, as I was finding other ways to do things that were more fun. Yesterday I jumped at the chance to do some modelling for my Wife's photography project, and didn't attempt to hurry her along (as I normally would) even as the 2nd hour of coldness and cramp rolled around. I took on a really, really difficult photoshop project from someone at work who asked me for a favour, and rather than saying “Oh no, I am far too busy to do that” or even doing it at work rather than working, I spent 3 hours carefully stitching pictures of other people's family together in attractive and interesting ways.

Procrastination is still very much alive, and in case any of you have not been following this properly, I have not written a word, or even managed to come up with the extra sub-plots I need to finish the full plotting of the thing, since I first started this blog 3 weeks ago. Fairly impressive isn't it? I am now about to open my notes and try and finish some of it ready to get some work done. I fully expect that in less than half an hour, I will have wandered off to my temporary studio, and will be playing Angus Young riffs on my SG and claiming that this is a useful way to spend my sunday afternoon. Let it be known that it is not, and never will be. Though it is fun.