Dear Courtney Barnett aka @courtneymelba,
Because you asked for it so nicely, here is a blog post from me.
Your request came on just the right day for a catch up, so thanks. It has been a while, I know. It’s just that I’ve been busy with other things. Take this particular thing, for instance. In the past few weeks, I have had a complete change of identity. I commute every morning on the train, into the city, where I sit at a desk and work until the sun goes down. People do this every day, but it’s exotic to me. I usually work from my kitchen table, or I’m on stage, at a pub or club. As of three weeks ago, I have a hot desk. What is a hot desk? Let me explain. Earlier in the year, I noticed that The Wheeler Centre was taking in applications for writers who would like to come in to their wonderful office space for ten weeks and work on a project. I thought that sounded like something for me, so I wrote to them about some stories I have from my time on the road, and how I’ve started writing them and would like to see where they take me. After I sent off my proposal, I shoved it to the back of mind and got on with other things like gigs and the business of being a musician. Much to my great delight, less than a month later, they informed me that I would be one of their hot desk fellowship recipients! Oh frabjous day!
And so it is. I am writing a book, or at least, I am learning about what it takes to write a book. I thought I might keep a blog alongside this project and make it a part of my everyday writing, but I decided that I would bite off just enough to make this manageable. I decided to keep it about one thing, instead of using up my creative energy on too many things at once. I have a habit of doing lots of projects all at once and getting only a small part of each done, or not doing any of them very well, or just being busy for the sake of being busy. I’ve had enough of that for right now. Even before this desk thing came up, I had made a decision that I needed to pare back a bit and give some of these ideas I have a chance to breath and grow into better ideas. This hot desk came at a time when I wanted to learn a new way of working, to gain more focus. I wanted to find out something new about myself and I believe that I am. I don’t know how the book will turn out, or if I am even heading in the right direction, but I’m really excited about it and I haven’t felt that way in a while. That counts for a lot, in my, um,… books.
I don’t know if this will change the way I work on my songs, but I’m going to try it out on them. Later.
So, how is it that I can be writing a blog entry, then? Today, I took a day off. I am writing to you from the comfort of my couch at home, by the gas heater. As you may be aware, it turned out to be a day of torrential downpours and whopping great Autumnal gusts of wind, that had me diving for the brolly and scarf before I could even contemplate leaving the house. Due to that, and some drab weather in my head, I decided to take a day for myself. I took some time to enjoy the dramatic sky, dumping it’s entire contents on Melbourne Town, from the warm vantage point of a cafe window. I brought the crossword and the latest issue of Dumbo Feather for company and it was most pleasant.
That is what I have been up to, if you were wondering, which it seems that you might have. I’ll pop in again sometime soon.
Lots of love,