(old photo, April 2007).
I've been writing near enough all my life. I've been jotting down thoughts and ideas, constructing essays, following my muse, and words are my gift and my curse. Many times a year I get out of bed and scribble a fragment of a verse, a sentence, sometimes a full song that just will not leave me alone. I write it down, and there it is, forever, frozen in aspic. And then, with that, those words, are history : I can forget them, and return to them anytime I want, and forgetting them allows me more space in my brain for the next thing, whatever the next thing is. Sometimes songs write themselves in a few minutes, as long as it takes to play. Other times, I am compelled, obsessed, possessed by an urge to type, for words to fly out of my brain onto a page as if I merely channelling a high force, a transcriber in a court room, merely recording as fast as I can a set of words that my brain detects that are in the air, like a radio transmission. And it is a mystery to me. The way a sentence, flows to another sentence, and another, and before I knew it, there's a verse there, a set of images and a narrative, and a chorus, and then a closure. I don't know quite how creativity works. It's not something you can switch 'on' or 'off'. To me, it happens when it happens, and often at inconvenient times. I've been known to stop and text message myself a verse in a supermarket, and even at a gig.
But it is part of me. I wouldn't want it to change. It would almost seem as if part of me were missing if it didn't happen. It happens when it happens, and sometimes, songs pour out of me like a flood, a torrent, and other times there's maybe one a month or one every three months. But it's always there. It happens at all times. Never grow boring. Never stop thinking. Never stop asking questions. Never embrace mediocrity.