i’m still writing. a lot lately, actually, and getting jazzed about it like i haven’t been in a long time. and if you’ll forgive the blatantly posed selfie below, i had to pause and enjoy the moment tonight when i realized i’d gotten off a nearly ten-hour shift after working long hours all weekend at 5&10 (dude, my boss was at the emmy’s last night — weird) and eagerly come home to write.
i remember the moment i realized i really wanted to write about music. i was in the car with my parents on our way to my dad’s friend’s cabin on the greenbrier river in west virginia. i think we were listening to weather report. and i had something to say about it that made me pause and think, yeah, i could do this. i could talk about music for a living. and so i spent my college years learning how to write reviews, taking notes while i listened to music and avidly reading other people’s music writing.
reading paste in high school and college, i saw names like nick marino and michael saba and admired them and remembered them, what they’d written, lines of theirs i liked. sort of like i do now with the new yorker — shout out to anthony lane! anyway, winding up working with those people and making some of them my friends and respected colleagues, having them root for me, sharing drinks with them — all these things made entertainment writing more intoxicating. driving all night to the louisiana bayou to visit the set of “beasts of the southern wild” a full year before anyone else knew benh zeitlin existed, picking through backyard junk stores with his props department — priceless. taking a train to seoul just a few weeks after i moved to korea and conducting an interview with video game channel execs was pretty exhilarating, too. but mostly, this is what music and entertainment writing comes down to — me, a notebook, headphones and late nights. it’s something i squeeze in before work or stay up all night doing. it’s solitary. a lot of the process is silent. and when i talk to minor rock stars, we’re not cavorting through j.c. penny together, stirring up trouble. we’re awkwardly stepping on the ends of each other’s sentences on the phone.
that’s not something you come back to many times if there isn’t something about it that moves you. i stayed up til 4 writing my last cover story. i didn’t even pull those kinds of all-nighters in college.
it’s been a while since writing about anything, especially music, didn’t feel like a chore, and a difficult one at that. lately, i finally feel myself taking pleasure in it again, and after years of feeling lost without a thing do to that i loved, i can’t explain the sense of relief i feel in simply liking this work again. i caught myself in the mirror as i sat on my bed trying to find something to say about deer tick’s “negativity,” and it just looked exactly right. dark room, all alone, big old headphones and a notebook. i’m right where i’m supposed to be.