For ten years, every Labour Day weekend I was immersed in the 3-Day Novel Writing Contest. I completed it every year, whether the novel was 80 pages or 120. Some years SUCKED. A few were good. One was awesome. Every time was a huge learning experience and a soul wrenching trial-by-deadline.
Then I took two years off. one decade was a completion. It was solid. I was good with it.
This year, I have a four day weekend, and am going to concentrate on writing songs. I have lots of housework, a food fair, and movies to watch. But by Monday night I'll have serious progress on some new material done.
It's weird when i'm in songwriting mode. I listen to music on the subway and at work, but I refuse to listen to anything vaguely in our genre. so i listen to piano jazz, lounge, prog rock... The Gene Harris Quartet, Thievery Corporation, Hawkwind. An odd mix of interesting textural stuff that won't get a pop hook in my head.
I do think I'm getting the hang of this songwriting thing. It's not "rocket surgery". Nobody will be injured if I do it wrong. And there is sort of no "wrong" anyway. If it sounds like a song, if it feels complete, then there you go! But I'm really trying to push it... to write hooks, and a catchy chorus, and a good build, and have my limited guitar ability work for me, not against me. (Don't even get me started on how Mandy & Roy forced me to do a "punk guitar solo" at our last gig. jesus murphy.)
I'm also working on some poetry. This winter I want to complete another poetry collection. I don't know whether it will end up as a CD, a zine, a self published chapbook, or if I'd have the guts to write a full book of poetry and send it to actual publishing houses. I've read a lot of the brilliant poetry that comes out in Toronto, and I don't know how my work compares. My poetry tends to come out rambling & conversational. Which is my genuine honest style and I dig it, but might not be "marketable". Whatever. write first, analyze everything to death later.
Plus, it's September. Time for new pens & notebooks! I love buying writing supplies. It's a sickness.