It’s been almost two years since I’ve written anything in this blog, but it’s time to set an update as we go into a fresh start of 2015.
To review, at the beginning of 2013, I worked out a structure for a new large scale musical work, then proceeded to experiment on “filling in that void” with research materials. The work was progressing back and forth between a pure orchestral work, something for violin and strings, or a piano concerto. Still, that exercise proved too precise and unsatisfying, so I decided to take a break.
Around March of that year, I started experimenting with literary writing, and on a personal dare, out of curiosity, decided to try my hand at writing a short novel. Well, five months later I had written over 108,400 words (which isn’t a short novel at all). Then, in November, I started the second draft. That exercise in editing and revision took me exactly fourteen months, in which I snipped out close to 21,000 words! It’s now an about 87,200 words. I’m now working on a draft 2.1, and also shopping around for a professional editor/reader after which I’ll hit my third draft — more of a polish.
During that time I learned a great deal about writing, even going so far as suffering through a literary theory course. All of this was really helpful to me as a composer believe it or not, the way that sentences and ideas can be constructed (or not constructed), the differences between grammar and rhetoric etc. Writing creatively is quite frankly bitchin’ hard. I used to get up every morning every day of the week at 5:00 am to work on it, but I think I can relax a bit now and let go. We are so close to words everyday that it’s difficult to hear or read how someone else might see what you’ve written. What looks good today, sucks to you tomorrow. You correct and go through the same thing again and again, slicing away. My derivative analogy is it’s like herding cows down a road but they keep going into pastures, and you are also one of the cows.
Anyway, for 2015, my goals are to continue with this thing and see where it leads. I intentionally keep the door closed on saying anything about it. When its publishable I may speak. For 2015, I’m also planning to get back into that musical work, now that I experiences what writers go through.