Another Sunday Pondering

Recently, I’ve wondered how much we’ve spent on our collections, over the years. And last Sunday, I wondered what will happen to our collections when we get old and can (possibly) no longer maintain them.

Well, this week it’s a bit of a ramble… I hope it’s coherent. And it won’t have all the answers (not even close). I’m just spitballin’, here. Thinking out loud. Cool? Cool.

This week, I ponder creation versus criticism (and making space for both). And also ponder the future, a wee bit…

Read on…

Records. Books. Movies… I’ve been thinking about why I idolize others and their works, collecting them and, in the case of albums, writing about them in this blog. Appreciation of art, of course. And long conditioning – I’ve been a collector, now, for 32 years. I love me some groovy tunes.

Yet it feels akin to reading novels all my life, but never writing one myself. It doesn’t feel like enough. So, now I consider still collecting things and writing about them (records), but also making time and space to create my own new stuff.

So, it’s simple, right? If I feel like I want to, just go and create new stuff, right? Duh! Obvs!

The basic work of space and time to do this is obvious. The urge is there. The ideas as to what to do… somewhat, but sure to grow stronger given room to breathe. Hell, I used to write a lot of songs, I even played in a band. And I have boxes full of my old writing, but I only make weak stabs at any of it, these days… Why did it tail off? I dunno, but surely no good reason. I’ve been content to be the audience for a long while, now.

As for blogging, I’ve spent 10+ years slapping together my suspect quality contributions to these pages, and that’s fine. That’s a lot of unprofessional armchair criticism jibbering away into the ether…

There’s still a lot to love about it, though. I get to run this site with our great friend James, and I’ve met tons of awesome people via this community and wouldn’t trade that for anything (COMMUNITY!). And I do enjoy listening to records with the thought towards what I’ll say when I write it up so you folks can participate and (hopefully) learn something. In fact, after all these years I’d find it hard to listen to a record without aiming at a review.

And I need to be careful here, because I’m not saying that blogging about music isn’t creating something new. It’s my own thoughts about what I hear so, in a way, it is indeed fresh. But it’s not a record I made I’m offering you, just my own blather about someone elses’.

So as I said, lately, it doesn’t feel like enough. You’ll notice I’ve not read and commented your blogs with as much regularity since before Christmas, surely. And it’s no slight on you. I just feel a shift, that some of my attention needs to be elsewhere. For what? I don’t know yet.

All that’s well and good. But there’s more! Of course, you know my brain by now. If one thought is good, I’ll take it further! Discuss the following:

For example, what do those people in bands or authors do or have that I don’t? Well, they apply themselves to the act of creation of new work (same as we apply ourselves to blogging). Many have talent (whereas mine is weaker, but could potentially improve with work. Only one way to find out!).

Most of these folks, admirably, work damn hard to learn and get where they are and, yes, some of them are extraordinary and quite simply born and meant to do what they do. And I’m sure even those folks collect/hear the work of other people too.

The difference is, to me, primarily that they’re putting themselves out there, and they’re actually doing it. Instead of sitting back and commenting from a comfortable position on this or that work, they’re actively creating and putting it out there.

And yet more thoughts followed, regarding my own leanings, such as “creation for the sake of creation isn’t helpful either – what about meaning?” And also “is what you’re creating for personal use or with intention to sell it?”

In short, though, it’s clear to me that it isn’t for everyone (and that’s fine). As I said, without a second thought I’ve been happy to absorb the work of others most of my life. But I know for a fact for those who do create, it must have value (to yourself or an intended audience) or there’s no point in doing it at all. Just like anything else in your life.

In Sum:

I don’t have concrete answers. I’m just going by feel. But if I disappear now and again, it’s nothing you’ve done. I might be elsewhere… making stuff!

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Posted on January 29, 2017, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. I would argue that creation for creation’s sake is fine and dandy. It’s a process of discovery. It’s like waking up early in the morning as a kid with a big tub of Lego and saying “Let’s see what happens.” Meaning? Let that come later…or let someone else figure it out. Just create. We all have folders and folders full of drawings, writings, music, that lead nowhere. Or did it? Was it all a stepping stone on the path to more creation? I think so. I think it’s like a sculpture — chip away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Creation for creation’s sake is fine… on a computer. If I’m writing something other than the blog, though, like a short story or something, then it’s long hand. Yup, pen and paper! I’m a dinosaur! So with that in mind, creation for creation’s sake becomes clutter pretty damn quickly. I didn’t articulate that in the post, but it may explain my desire to push towards meaning and quality.

      But I totally get throwing things out there and seeing what sticks. I do that in this blog ALL THE TIME! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of the best paragraphs ever written about blogging!

    “As for blogging, I’ve spent 10+ years slapping together my suspect quality contributions to these pages, and that’s fine. That’s a lot of unprofessional armchair criticism jibbering away into the ether…”

    HAHAHAHA…..Friggin Gold right there!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ten years, wow that’s so cool. Then again, I’m not surprised as you are one amazing blogger. Your work is as fresh as a daisy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suspect quality contributions?
    I suspect that your contributions have always been of the highest quality!
    I think you’ve figured out the most important thing – there are no concrete answers.
    If you feel like blogging? Great!
    Creating? Great!
    Both? See above!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ten years is a very long time to persevere at anything. And maintaining a blog for that time is a massive achievement. I started wobbling after 3 ½ years and although Vinyl Connection continues, it is more of a month-to-month project these days.

    What keeps me going are the memoir pieces. That’s the creative part for me. The hardest, sure, the slowest, certainly; but the writing that sustains.

    I wonder if there is a way to shift your blog (or start another one) that allows the inclusion of either your different writing projects or perhaps reflections on the other creative work you are doing? I’ve been pondering this question too. Though, as you point out, time and space are tyrants!

    Thanks for a thought-provoking piece, Aaron. Keep us posted.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have been lucky in that almost everything I have posted, as personal or impersonal as it gets, has had some tenuous connection to music. That made it “OK to go”. Guys like us who live it and breath it can always find ways to incorporate it into our creative endeavours. Whether it’s a story about something that happened when I sold music in a store, or a movie with a great soundtrack, or a conversation, I have tried to keep one toe in music no matter how far I’ve strayed off.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, KMA started in October of 2006. Some good dust in the corners, by now! A lot of posts lost to the mists of time and no one finding them unless they’re keyword searching a specific artist or title. S’all good.

      We’ve definitely had some periods where there would be a month with one post in them, heck there have even been hiatuses (which are for chumps, by the way), etc, but those got made up with months having about 100 posts in them… I know. The only consistent thing about my blogging is my inconsistency! James, on the other hand, always brings the quality.

      I think what happens is that we hit times in our lives where we can do more or less in these pages. We’ve been at this long enough by now that I probably have had every permutation possible come along. I’ve learned to just roll with it. The key is to never give up completely, you can always come back.

      I love your memoir pieces. LOVE.

      R.E. your excellent suggestion, we’ve discussed before adding other things, but it always just felt like a music blog. I have had other blogs, some pretty crazy shit, but they fizzle out because then I’m suddenly juggling more than one site, and then I have even less time to do other things…

      My other writing projects need time, space, and some undivided attention. It may mean the blogging falls by the wayside a wee bit compared to previous levels (I maintained at least one post per day for a loooong time), but I just feel a pull to other things. All done offline (longhand), no screens. Old school (because I’m old). As for another blog or sharing the stuff, that’ll depend on what results, and how I feel about it!

      Thanks for Reading and for this comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So what’s this a review of then?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your blog is fantastic and the content is your creation.
    If you decide to create more or something else, that’s awesome! It seems that something is percolating….

    Like

  8. I like this post as I’ve found myself trying to be more intentional with my time, as I haven’t really felt that I’ve been very ‘creative’ these last few months. But, I think there’s a fine line… being intentional with time, but not intentional about how, or what, I create. It can be stifling. I’m a believer in just jotting down, scribbling, or whatever just to get it out. I guess for me it’s all to do with expression. I haven’t been all that excited about music, but have been thinking “maybe tomorrow” about some other things. But, like this whole blogging thing, the key is to do what you feel like when you feel like it. No pressure. Don’t feel stifled by a need to practice or create… just do. That make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally makes sense, thanks J.! You’re right – can’t do it if you ain’t feelin’ it, but you’ll only feel it if you make the space to do it. Scribbling is the only way. Get it out before you forget it!

      I actually had you (and Stoneygate) in mind as I was thinking this one out. You record songs, play gigs. You’re out there, doing it. You’re not in your bedroom thinking “some day.” It may not be full time, but you’ve done it and will likely do it again. Big difference!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find ideas pop in my head all the time, but I just haven’t sat down all that often to do something about it. In fact, the most creative I’ve been in months was sitting down with some paints and crafts with junior. I haven’t done anything like that for the best part of 20 years!

        Like

        • Quality time with yer wee yin is THE BEST EVER. It’s time you can’t get back, they grow so fast. Absorb every minute, man, and take a zillion pictures!

          I have once again started carrying a wee notebook in my pocket, as I used to do back when I wrote other things more. An idea pops up? It gets jotted. On with the day! I can always come back later.

          Liked by 1 person

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