It’s All In My Head

I dream a lot. I do more painting when I’m not painting. It’s in the subconscious.

Andrew Wyeth

By: William G. Muir

I couldn’t agree with this quote more if I had said the words my self, dipped them in chocolate and then encased them in gold.

Shakespeare, Van Gogh, and The Beatles all made it look easy. In reality art it is anything but easy. If I have learned anything over the years it’s that creating art, no matter what form it might take, is difficult. Sure to the consumers it seems like you just sit down and just do; but that is because all they ever see is the finished project. They never get to look behind the curtain, to see all the hard work that is involved.

Every piece of work, from a magnum opus to a short story, a ton of effort and preparations goes into it before a pen ever touches a piece of paper.

I have written countless short stories and poems inside my head. There have been more works that have been create and either abandoned or forgotten in my mind than I will ever get down on a piece of paper. And even those ideas that I do manage to get from head into a document on my laptop, I am constantly going over every word I type, just trying to find the right way to say what it is I want to express to you the readers.

That is why shows like American Idol and The Voice get on my nerves. The people that go onto those types of shows think that it is just so easy to break into show business. That all that you need to be able to do is carry a tune, have a pretty face and you too can sell CDs, or MP3s, or whatever form music is being sold as today. (I haven’t really bought any music in a while.) But in some ways the people who go on those shows looking for quick fame are right to think they can achieve it. Pop music is really nothing more than pretty boys and girls singing songs that somebody else wrote.

They don’t even need to be able to sing all that well anymore. Some engineer sitting behind a contraption with a bunch of switches and nobs will fix all that. With Auto-Tune anybody can be a superstar. All you need is a computer and you too can have a hit. It sounds like something that should’ve been a plot device from a Sci-fi story written in the 1950s about the future.

For real musicians it is just not that simple. A rock band can struggle for years and never get a shot at a recording contract. It is not about going on an over glorified talent show and performing for idiots…did I say idiots, I meant to a live audience that has no clue what good music is. I will sometimes hear one of these shows coming in from the other room and I can’t help but think how awful the person who is performing (if that is even the word for it. Sometimes it sounds more like cats being strangled.) And after the person is finished, the audience will applaud.

 I just can’t help but wonder if the audience heard the same thing that I did. And I am not being a music snob here. I’m the guy that has admitted on more than one occasion that I like Nickleback. Not only that but I liked Hootie And The Blow Fish and several other bands that people who know anything about music are not supposed to like. I don’t know if a piece of music is good, I just know what I like. And I do know when someone has put their hearts into their art and those that think that anybody can do it.

I have to say I blame technology for that kind of attitude. Well not technology itself, but the way it was, and still is, sold to us. I can remember around the year 2000 (give or take a year or two) seeing ads for how in ten years television as we knew it would disappear. With the right software and a video camera everybody would be able to have their own show. That publishers and agents would be a thing of the past because everybody would be able to publish whatever they want. That the record companies would go out of business cause musician would be able to sell their song directly to their fans.

Here it is 2013 and we have more television stations than before, Publisher and agents are still turning down manuscripts and the record companies keep putting out songs that sound just like the ones they put out last year. Sure there are web shows, the 50 Shades series was self published and the hottest R&B/Hip-Hop album is Heist, an indie record. But here is something nobody talks about, for every work that succeeds, there is a mountain of self done crap.

Not everybody was meant to be an artist!

So if you will excuse me I must run. I have a short story that I have been in the middle of for several days now. Then after that I have to choose a podcast to review. After that I need to work on starting an outline for two book ideas that I have. I need to get something basic down now so I don’t forget about them. It will be sometime before I can even think about getting to them. Then I need to get done writing the chapter that I am so close to finishing. And hopefully sometime in the next week my co-writer and I can get back to working on our second book.

C’est la vie.


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