“Akil, I went to my first book signing today.”
“What? I didn’t know you finished the book!”
-Conversation between my brother and I on Sunday night.
Never been to a book signing before but my old friend Kat (feel free to like her Facebook page here) works with an author named Colette Freedman who had two signings in the L.A. area this past weekend to support her week-old release, The Thirteen Hallows. I forgot about Friday’s event in Pasadena but Kat was kind enough to text me on Saturday night with a reminder about Sunday afternoon’s event in Burbank. I agreed to go and then looked up Colette’s bio…
Almost had an anxiety attack five minutes later.
I hate missing deadlines. It’s embarrassing. Unprofessional. Hate missing self-imposed deadlines even more than those agreed to with someone else. Why? Makes me feel like I lied to myself, and I don’t like lying to myself. Feel dishonest afterwards.
Planned to finish my first draft a couple of weeks ago. Sounded good but I didn’t come close. Was on a great roll until Chapter 18… two months-plus and counting as of last Monday. TWO. MONTHS. PLUS!
Knew the job would slow me down but damn if I haven’t visited, hung out with, taken to dinner, treated, tried to spend time with all the friends who kept my spirits up while I was unemployed. No complaints, mind you. My people will tell you I’m a very loyal friend. It was time to get back to work, is all.
Went to pull the trigger, nothing happened. Misfire.
And then I read about a book on Jeff Goins writing site called “The War of Art”. Jeff has become my writing mentor, been taking his online blogging class and I can see improvement since checking him out. The text on the cover reads, “Break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles.” See, I didn’t think I was blocked, I thought I was busy, big difference! But Jeff swore by it so that’s all I needed to hear. Took me a few days to track it down at the local B&N but I did.
The book’s author labels anything that stands between you and your creativity as Resistance. Made sense, easy read. My eyes were opened. And then they tried to roll out of my head and onto the floor when I reached the following page:
What do you do when you don’t feel it, when creating art feels like 10 parts chore, 0 parts joy?
I’ve only written one blog in the past week so what should I do? Try to force something out that will make the stats climb again, build interest, blah blah blah?
The truth is that I’m not that interested right now. I mean, I am but there’s big wide world (of sports?) out there to explore and I sat in the house for the better part of a year. It’s time to live, go on adventures, find inspiration that will fuel the writing.
Which means that it isn’t time to write some transparent, paper-thin crap that feels like a reach at best. All my artist friends will be able to relate to the following:
My first attempt at this was as a straight concert review but I was cracking too many jokes and didn’t take notes anyway. It would have undersold the experience:
This was one of the 2 best concerts I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of great shows.
Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention (I was young… Pops played for him… he scared me!), Earth Wind & Fire (classic lineup), Genesis, Phil Collins, U2, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Peter Gabriel, D’angelo, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Seal, Lenny Kravitz, Nikka Costa, P!nk, Jonny Lang… all were sick shows.
The only show that rated higher for me was Prince @Staples Center seven years ago. He played the hits. In the round. The Time opened. Dave Grohl is a bad man but Prince with Morris Day and Jerome? Hammer couldn’t touch that one.