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From: Greg Smyth'))
To: The Hot Topic Collective
Re: Writing Ambitions
Okay, so I lied. I'm a great big faker. Sorry.
You see, the original post to the Mondo Group stated quite assuredly that, yes, I, Greg Smyth, had really quite obvious writing ambitions that were easily spelled out and that left me feeling quite good about myself. "I'm a do-er", I thought to myself, "and all the multitude of plans and schemes I have are currently paying off."
What a fool I am, because, as soon as the teeth of the Mondo Chattering Classes began chewing over the various novels and poems and the like that the great and good of this collective have in the backs of their minds or sitting, unedited, on their various hard drives, I felt somewhat foolish. All I wanted to do was write music reviews.
Sure, I'd love to write a novel but there are two things that either put me off or prevent me from churning out the Great Masterwork. The first is that, really, I'm not sure I have the patience or concentration span to stick with one thing for so long. Second, at what point do you realise you've got sufficient inspiration or ideas to begin such a huge undertaking? That's the beauty of music writing, and I'm sure I've said this before, you're espousing on one of a thousand objects that will pass over your desk in that year, each one for both a limited amount of words and always with some ready-made frame of reference or backstory. Never, really, are you as a critic faced with the purely blank page and the very specific Fear that instills in the writer. And particularly in one who doubts his own dubious level of talent.
Both Eric and Mat mention the liberation that blogging brought them. That, to me, is a whole hornet's nest that could be saved for a future Hot Topic - is blogging proper writing/journalism? But let's give it a spin here in the meantime. Blogging has meant that, when I'm sufficiently on the ball to do it regularly, I have an outlet for the finished product regardless of whether the commissioning editor of the magazine I'm pitching the samples to likes them. Prior to my introduction to blogging (and, perhaps more crucially, prior to getting a laptop and associated internet connection) I had a box file with old printed samples into which would go the latest attempt at getting a writing gig. I'd send out samples much less frequently and, so, a real lack of momentum developed and I wrote less and less. Since blogging properly, I've produced much more, and crucially, better content. Coupled with the ease of approaching editors via the likes of the internet (and, to my surprise, MySpace) I've begun to foster links with a range of publications. Hopefully one day I'll meet one who'll start to pay me!