Im staring at a blank screen and banging my head repeatedly on the keyboard.
The worlds gone mad... is this some Orwellian dystopia that the worlds turned into?
Social separation (come on folks this ain't social distancing... think about it), main stream media giving us such diluted, misrepresented, look here not there, slight of hand bullshit to avoid reporting on whats REALLY going on, outrage culture on a scale I could never even have dreamt of in my 50 years on this planet! Statues being pulled down and thrown in rivers (some more than overdue) online censorship on an unprecedented scale, Covid... go out but don't go out but go out, the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, anyone seen a photo yet? Trump insanity vs Biden criminality, no left or right anymore, kids no longer in schools...
What the fuck is going on...?
Well now the rants over (or is it?) where does that leave us, us being you the reader and me the writer! Well I thought I would talk about writers block. Seeing as I appear to have a serious case of it at the moment! Is it writers block or creative block? Is there a common thread through a creative block? I believe that there is, but Im not entirely sure where it comes from. Looking at a blank page (or screen in most of our cases) is one of the most frustrating things I have ever come across. Just looking at the blank page and waiting for the words to come is a nightmare... the more you seem to look at that glowing screen the more the block for words to appear becomes.
I see myself as a 'creative', I went to art school, foundation first then a diploma in design then a degree in design but never really did anything with it. I got sidetracked by a climbing career then a career in rope access before moving into the management of rope access. Not really a 'creatives' line of work... but that all came crashing down and here I am, making guitars. The first really creative job Ive had and I wouldn't change it for the world. I wouldn't call myself a Luthier, Im not trained nor apprenticed so I wouldn't dream of calling myself that. I think that would undervalue real Luthiers but I would, and indeed do, call myself a guitar maker. This is the creative path Im now travelling and every day is a school day.
But the dreaded creative block does come, for me its in this form more than anything else!
It does come in other forms, I pick up a guitar and then go blank, sometimes I wonder if I have ever learnt anything in my 30 odd years of on and off playing, like its the first time Ive ever picked one up. I walk into the workshop and briefly wonder whats next. But like I say writing is the hardest thing Ive had to do, creatively speaking... so what is it that makes our mind go so wonderfully fucking blank?
Ive got no real answer for this... after all Im starting this blog this week on this subject because I spent two poxy days looking at a blank fucking screen with soooo many ideas until I sat down in front of the keyboard and incredibly the mind went blank and suddenly there is nothing in my head to write about so I thought I would start with a rant about this!
I mean I could write about the news (haven't we had enough?) the hashtag me too or black lives matter, white privilege, Antifa, the Clinton crime family or being anally probed during an alien abduction in Shitsville, Arkansas (no offence Chris if you're reading this) and no that's never happened to me before you ask... but I would like you guys to read this rather than just switch off or spend the next 3 months trolling me...
So what do I do when I get the dreaded writers block? Well now I use the most indispensable and underused of tools... a notepad! Granted its now digital as I usually have my phone near me and can never find any paper, plus my workshop eats pencils like some kind of messed up graphite hoover! When an idea comes to me I try to write it down, unfortunately recently Ive kind of forgotten about this blog a bit so Ive sort of run out of written ideas but Ive got a wonderfully surreal set of notes on guitar building that's more random than quantum string theory! So Im trying again to take my own medicine and make the notes Im talking about. Ive probably got two years worth of build ideas (that need work) that I can rely on for guitars but writing is a different ball game, I take my hat off to writers, they say every person has a story and every person has a book inside them and Im sure I do! Ive been fortunate a wonderfully varied life, and survive it... (just) full of ups and downs, some so ludicrous or insane they seem like something the bastard child of Hunter S. Thompson and Quentin Tarantino would write... but getting that down on paper, in a way that is both interesting to read and cohesive, that leads the reader down a path that makes them want to read more? Well that... is a whole different ball game and I take my hat off to ALL writers, journalists and other users of this less than consumed medium these days... and I DO mean less than consumed! How many people under the age of thirty are there that have never read a book?
Sadly the answer is too many! Books are at an all time low these days, libraries are being closed left right and centre. It makes me sad, I consumed books as a kid, in vast quantities. A friend of my sons recently made this point very proudly! He said "I can honestly say Ive never read a book and don't need too, why would I? All the info I need is online".
Not that he has ever read it nor would, he doesn't see the need too. So hard as it may be I will continue to write this blog and I hope you my readers will continue to read it. Ill try and keep it more regular but if I don't you now know why... Im staring at a blank screen and banging my head repeatedly on the keyboard... again!
'Blind'John July 20