People sometimes ask how I channel creativity - be it writing songs, short stories or poems, painting or drawing. I don’t have to choose what I will do on any given day because it chooses me. It’s hard to describe - kind of like describing the difference between thirst and hunger. They are both strong impulses, but impossible to describe the subtle difference that causes you to reach for a glass instead of a spoon. That’s how it is with my art. One day I feel hungry to write poems. It’s just quiet. There is no melody to distract and I can focus on the distilled emotion that poetry lets me capture. Other times I find my hand reaching for a guitar, and I can feel a song wanting to be born. I just try to keep my mind still and get out of its way - and when I do, they bubble up quicker than I can write them down.
Yet at other times I feel an emotion scratching inside of me, but it’s a shy kind of feeling. It had no words. It’s color and texture and it’s raw, and I start to scribble and smear chalk until it gets out.
Lately I have been writing a lot of short story fiction. My whole life I felt like as I grew older and more patient my writing would seek longer forms. It’s taken me while to build up to short story fiction from a 3 minute song, but I’m enjoying finally being here. I am endlessly fascinated with human emotion, with what makes us most fundamentally human - our frailties and our basic goodness - and short stories let me flesh that out a little more.
In general my music career gets in the way of writing a lot because there is so much travel and promoting involved. But even with my packed schedule I manage to create a lot, though I decided to set aside some time to really focus on writing. I rented a boat, and for a week I’m going to go out by myself and really bare down on some poems and stories. It’s not much time, but it’s a start.