Saturday, January 21, 2017

52 short stories in 52 weeks

Ray Bradbury suggested that a writer or would be author can't write 52 bad short stories in the space of one year. If you keep writing week in and week out, you're bound to come up with something good. I'm inclined to agree with him.

I attempted to do this with songs when I first started writing songs in my late teens and my early 20's. At one point I was averaging a song a week that I would record into my cassette recorder. It was in the 90's, back when I didn't have access to proper recording gear or a DAW on a computer yet. Singing and playing into a tape recorder was the only option. I didn't even own a 4 track recording machine because I wasn't ready to get into producing yet. It was more about getting the songs written and recorded as basically as I could. If it was worthy of being produced and recorded properly, I would find a proper studio to do it. 

By the end of the first year writing, I had more than half a dozen cassette tapes of songs. By the second year I easily had a hundred songs. Some of the songs ended up on my first proper studio demo that I recorded in 1996-97. Others ended up in the various albums I have recorded since then. However, apart from maybe 12 songs, most of my material from back then never saw the light of day. Listening back to some of it recently, I realise that most of it was just an experiment in songwriting. I was still developing and had a long way to go. Despite the flaws, there are hooks and riffs from some of those songs that I might still use in the future, even if the songs won't remain the same as they were. 

Am I better writer now than I was back then? I hope so. I am now producing my own albums in my home studio and have had a few songs on local radio. However, in my mind, I will always be the kid who still approaches each song as if it is the first one I have written.

I have also finished writing my first book at this point; something that has taken me years to do, but like any self indulgent endeavour, I'm still reluctant to put it out. When I do, it will be self published on on the digital platform. Anything that is an easy and free way for you to keep control and publish your book worldwide is fine by me. No one is going to offer an unknown a publishing deal anyway.

I'm might just take up this 52 short stories in 52 weeks challenge. I've written short stories before but not religiously. Something else to occupy my mind other than making sales and paying bills. Let's see what I can come up with. 

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