A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blog about everything.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Write Drunk, Edit Sober

  So here's the issue.  My creative process is lengthy and painful.  This goes for composing music, editing lyrics, tweaking Jiu Jitsu techniques, and most relevant to this post, writing this blog.

  I always admire the bloggers who can produce post after post filled with great stuff, and by "admire" of course I mean "envy".  Speed just isn't in my creative bones.

  As a songwriter my preferred method is to "write drunk, edit sober".  Figuratively of course (please forgive me for not crediting a source on that - the internet seems confused on that point).  What this means (to me) is that I write with a lack of inhibition and a healthy dose of self-indulgence.  Everything is gold in this stage.  I can do no wrong.  Until I sleep on it of course.  In "the morning", when sober, I discover I have not written my master work.  What I discover is that I have a lot of sloppy, poorly expressed half thoughts, written by the teenaged writer inside me (who is apparently very dramatic and very prone to cliche).  There is usually one line, or one idea (sometimes only a snatch of melody) that I might be able to build a song on.

  Now comes the tough part.  The "sober" me, after 20 years of songwriting has very high standards (and my wife who is my songwriting partner has even keener standards).  Which means that something has to be damn good, serve the song and say what I'm trying to say in the cleanest way possible for it to get into the final draft of a song. This process is incredibly painful and labour intensive. Always.

  At this point, I should acknowledge that this is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blog. For me, I see very little separation between my artistic process as a songwriter, and my process as a martial artist.  They both have that same, "get used to the plateau" theme to them.  I have very high standards for my jiu jitsu game.  I want to understand the easiest, cleanest, most efficient way to execute a technique, and I will be tormented until I find those little gems that start to string together those otherworldly verses of movement that make my martial narrative something worth building a game on. A song worth playing.

  Really, in BJJ, I would say you spend probably the first 5 to 10 years "writing drunk".  As a songwriter I spent longer than that, so I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years I listed that number as higher.

  All this to say, I want to post here more.  Which means, if I know my process, that I need to write SHORTER posts.

  I've definitely got the fodder for it right now, as I'm in competitive training for a super fight on February 2 against another black belt.  So that means lots of hard training, lots of editing,  and (it should go without saying ) lots of pain. Fortunately, to me, that sounds like a recipe for progress and evolution. I look forward to it.


1 comment:

  1. What a great post. And, might I say that I would much rather read imperfect posts by you more often than a few "perfect" posts a couple of times a year...Take your fodder, choose one a day/week, set the timer for 5-10 minutes, and just write. And then post. Without editing (much). Anything done imperfectly is still a blessing, especially blogging :-)