Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More meta-blogging (UPDATED)

I think I might have forgotten how to blog.

I have been moping around wondering whether I have come to the end of my blogging road, questioning my every thought to test how blog-worthy it might be.

I know that everyone who is cool, hip and trendy enough to have one of these things experiences similar crises from time to time. I sort of imagined that there would come a time when the real world would crowd out this little piece of virtual reality I so depended on for a while. I thought that one day I would pause in my busy, singing-based life and think, oh! I remember. Once I wrote stuff. People sometimes read it. Then my life picked up and became this perfect, wonderful, ideal existence and I didn't need it any more.

Now, before you reach any conclusions, let me just tell you that no, my life hasn't suddenly intertwined with all my hopes and dreams. I have no such perfect existence. The reason I am beginning to wonder whether to carry on is, in fact, the polar opposite. I am STILL struggling, I am STILL going from one project to the next, wondering what I'm doing. I still have exactly the same questions and worries as I did when I started this, and I am beginning to wonder whether or not it might have become a little boring.

I am a little bored, to be honest. Yes, I know, I have just been on holiday. I should be all rejuvenated and ready to spring into action like a ready-to-spring spring. The thing is, though, that I do feel ready, but suddenly I've realised that I'm not entirely sure where I'm meant to be springing to. I thought I knew. Before I went away I thought I had a plan, and now I feel like maybe I don't so much. It's like coming back to an essay you'd been working on, only to discover that you've only written four and a half words instead of the 1,500 you had been imagining.

It's such an uphill journey, particularly when I am not even massively sure a) what I'll find at the summit or b) whether there will even be a summit to find.

What I am trying to express in my simile-ridden prose is that I am bored of being scared, of being unsure about what I am aiming for. I wish it were clearer cut, and that I could just say, well, I want to be a pop-star. Then I could just go to the gym twelve million times, have a quick personality-ectomy and get on with selling out. I don't want to be a pop-star, though. I want to perform and record my own songs. With people who are as keen as I am. With people who want to make music and who want to be on stage to entertain and touch people in some way. Not in a dirty way, necessarily, but who knows? That may be one of the perks.

Actually I know exactly what it is that is standing in my way. I need those people to work with. Or person. I value my autonomy in every aspect of my life (sometimes to rather a destructive extent) but I am not so stubborn as to not acknowledge that I need another musician (or more) to make things happen.

I can identify the problem, then. A hurdle that is not insurmountable, but that is tricky and difficult to negociate.

I have put ads up, but I don't have a clue how to audition people. I suppose I could get them in a room, sing one of my songs to/at them and just instruct them to improvise, but that seems a bit harsh.

Although actually, when I write it down it doesn't so much, because that's what I'm looking for. I could give them a standard beforehand and ask them to prepare something, as well.

I could just test people out and see what sort of sound I like best, see which people seem easiest to work with, see which people have the best balance of musicality and personality. I would have to, for a whole day, pretend to be someone who knows something about music, but that's not so difficult.

(When I was at school I was quite shy, and I disliked doing presentations, French oral exams, saying things in class and the like. There was this girl in my class called Harriet who was so confident, always courteous and articulate with teachers, never blistered with blushes when called upon to answer a question. She took her time when responding, didn't stammer out the first thing that came into her head, just coolly smiled and gave the best she could. One day it occurred to me that if I could just pretend I was Harriet, mimic her and adopt her poised aura of calm, then I could carry things off as well as she could. In my A-level French oral, in my Spanish and French orals at University, I pretended I was Harriet. In interviews, in situations that made me want to run and find a book to shut myself away with, I pushed aside my shyness and forced my inner-Harriet to shine through. It might sound strange, but it actually works. I no longer pretend to be her, but sometimes, when faced with a situation that scares me, I find the person I think would deal with the situation the best and just 'be' them. Not in a schizophrenic way, nor in a wearing-their-underwear one, but just in a borrowing the best bits sort of a way.)

I am scared of auditioning people as myself. The 'what-ifs' span from 'what if they think I know nothing about music, that my songs are rubbish, that I am a jumped-up, know-nothing loser who will never make it anywhere', to 'what if they think my hair's rubbish'. Actually for the latter they would get points for having even the most rudimentary of senses of perception. Anyway, I am my own Harriet now. I will have to ignore my sense of inadequacy and pile up the confidence and self-motivational speeches before I enter in on such an experience, but somewhere, deep down I know I can do it.

I started off today wondering whether I should continue to blog. Wondering whether there was still a point. I started off over a year ago wanting to make people laugh, to be entertaining and share anecdotal, sit-com-like humour with people on the Internet. Somewhere along the line it has become something I use to order my thoughts, to rearrange all the crap that builds up in my brain and try to understand it. I would like it to be more "you'll never guess what happened on the bus"-based, but I think I have lost the knack for that, if I ever really had it. The sharing thing still applies, though. On some subjects, I truly listen to myself way more than I do to anyone else, simply because I am the only one that has a chance of knowing exactly what I am looking for. The only subject, in fact, where this applies, is my singing. Everywhere else I can take advice. Just about. Here is the only place I can sort my thoughts out sufficiently to be able to identify what I actually want/need to do.

So, having started off wondering whether I had it in me to continue blogging, I think I have reached the conclusion that I don't have it in me to stop. I still need this outlet for the questions only I can really answer.

I'm just hoping something funny happens to me on a bus soon, so that it still remains at least vaguely entertaining for everyone else.

UPDATE: A couple of weeks ago I did some vocals for a friend's track and it's up on his myspace. My vocals are on 'Luckiest Man', but the whole lot is great, I reckon.


Blogger NF Girl said...

I love your blog. Don't stop, especially if it helps you order your thoughts in some way.

I decide to stop blogging approximately every three days. Then I forget.

3:47 pm

Anonymous galatea said...

Ah, the post-holiday comedown, when you realise that you're running on a life-shaped treadmill.

I say keep up the blogging, and interesting subject matter be buggered.

4:16 pm

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

I think what you write about is interesting because it is different from my day to day life. So I am glad that you are going to continue :o)

4:19 pm

Blogger treespotter said...

for all it's worth, i think you're one of the best writer i read. blog or otherwise, i enjoy reading your writing more than most of the shit i read out there and i think i read a LOT of shit.

it'll be a shame to lose.

8:55 pm

Blogger Curly said...

I often find myself in the same situation (not having just come back from holiday, or having a great singing voice... living in London, having a boyfriend, having an imp for a sister... being able to play the cello, or pretty much anything else that I can think of (that's about it - I think, I'll let you know if there's anything else not-similar about you and me)) (wow a double bracket - not used one of those since school)

Ermm.. where was I going with this?

Oh yeah... Blogging. I love it, and I love yours. I repeat myself all the time on my blog, not too many people have noticed really. When you find that you've written two posts which are pretty much the same 12 months apart, you do wonder what the hell you're doing. But that's good, the wondering, because it forces you to think of other things to do.. and then you can tell other people (Us - **points to himself**) what great things you've been up to.

I'm in half a mind to carry on and write a comment that's longer than your long post - but I won't.

So, yeah. Keep it up.

10:00 pm

Anonymous Euan said...

Ooh, I like your voice on that Electra track. You go all Cher-like and electricky. *applause*

10:57 pm

Blogger lady miss marquise said...

Please don't stop!

If it helps, I'm feeling exactly the same, that I am tired of being scared. And when I moved back I had these great dreams as to why I was moving back and what I was going to accomplish, and err... well. They have yet to materialise. But they will eventually.

But please keep blogging, I'm not so sure what I would do without you.

1:08 am

Anonymous Lorna Griffiths said...

Very glad you have decided to keep blogging - if nothing else, it keeps me up to date with what's going on in your life, and as somebody I didn't really get to know that well at uni, I'm glad I'm getting to do that now.

Keep going with the music - it is a long struggle, one which I have not yet begun but will do in the next couple of years... It will, however, be worth it, because you have a fanatastic talent which can only get better :)

Lots of love,

9:39 am

Anonymous Adrian said...

You vocals make that track.

10:46 pm

Blogger pavandeep said...

Hey there,
thought I'd crawl out of the woodwork for a change just to say that I love your style and that your blog rocks! Yes, I can confirm it’s entertaining and humorous but above all human (all without any dubious antics with the man on the Clapham omnibus)

And fortunately enough for us I don't think you're doing very well at forgetting how to blog! Sounds like you do know what you're doing with the music... slogans to thousands of subliminally absorbed Nike advertisements are flashing up in my mind, in a peculiar green neon, no less.

It seems pretty good to listen to yourself before listening to others... (I never listen to my own advice); it’s a worthy cause to grapple with yourself before inevitably taking on others, as Confucius didn’t say...
Hey, you never know, Harriet most probably had an inner Gemima (who most likely had an inner Sally), heck, its all good. It’s fair enough to react to different situations with different psyches; I guess we’re not as dissimilar all we all think. But some people are certainly more amusing than others so here’s to your next instalment! (and your future jazz band!!!)
I'm off to check out that track...

3:00 am

Anonymous Angela said...

I think since you've already posted a couple of times since this entry you've probably decided to continue blogging. BUT I do want to let you know how much I enjoy reading what you have to say--whether it's anecdotal or soul searching. I don't comment as much as I once did, but I still enjoy following along on your adventures and hope to be buying an album from you someday soon!

9:42 pm


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