I have always fancied myself somewhat of a creative person, but I’ve never desired to be an “artist.” I consider it both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because being an artist is no joke, it isn’t something one can venture into half-heartedly. And while there is a lot of art that doesn’t appeal to me, I have nothing but the utmost respect to those who have the passion, drive and confidence to give themselves and their livelihood to their art. The curse is that I feel this aching in me on occasion that I struggle in finding a home for. It’s the type of aching that I imagine a “professional” artist feels on the regular and must confront without abandon. It’s probably what drives them, like a writer fighting through writer’s block and ultimately creates the greatest reward.
My other challenge is that I’m bored of my own art and have the attention span of a seven year old hopped up on good ole fashioned Coca Cola. There are so many times that I grab my pen and paper and am unhappy with my creation before anything is ever even put down. So I am always trying to find new avenues to learn and try, but often end up back where I began, sitting on the couch with an 11×14 sheet of paper, a pencil, an eraser and a black pen. I guess the fact that it is my creative home and brings me both peace and pleasure when I do complete something I should be thankful for, and I am, but I don’t want to be just another one trick pony.
That said, I’ve had two guitars sitting around my house for years playing the part of spare room decor and while they once may have given me an ounce of aging hipster cred, that time has long since passed. So before the end of the year I decided it was time to see if my fingers had something more in them than the ability to type fast (with only moderate misspellings). So I bought a local GroupOn and went to class for a few weeks to get a few chords down and promised myself thereafter that I would pick up my guitar everyday possible, even if just for a few minutes before TV time, to practice.
Now, five or six months later (who’s counting?), I have stuck to my promise. Most nights, it isn’t pretty, I stumble through some simple pop song I found chords for on E-chords.com or just play with combinations. But then, every once in awhile, it sounds right, almost like the beginning of something, and I get that jolt of creative excitement. I may never play more than a handful of chords, and that’s fine, but to have another creative outlet that both inspires and feeds an urge in me, is refreshing. As a bonus, I’m hoping it may help me fulfill one of my few bucket list items: to write my own song.
I’ve been carrying over a new year’s resolution of writing a song now for about the last decade or two. I’ve always enjoyed trying to write (“trying” being the operative word) and have admired music from afar since I can remember, but until recently the idea of being able to actually write a song felt so foreign and impossible. It’s only now that I’m starting to sense patterns and sounds and hearing how words might lay on top of them. I’d imagine this is pretty elementary stuff for must people that have any concept of writing, but for this guy, it’s very exciting. I’ve even taken to having my phone handy and recording patterns of chords when I feel like something sounds good. I admit, most of them revolve around G and are probably the most basic progressions to any pop song, but who cares? I don’t, it feels organic and experimental.
I’m still far from actually having any kind of completed song, but I’m enjoying the process of trying to figure it out. And though that means my drawing has taken a bit of a backseat, I’m learning that even this old dog can learn new tricks.