I love writing, always have done. Mainly it is notes but often, as you will know if you are reading this, it is words. I have to say that the notes are much harder to get together, much more frustrating as a medium, and I look upon my verbal tappings as a kind of light relief, letting off steam while the cogs and wheels grind through harmonies at the back of my brain.
I have always had a desire to get some bits and pieces published, to express my opinion in a way that might offer people an enjoyable read, and the advent of the blog, along with my enjoyment of the sound of my own voice, has enabled me to do just that. It is also an inescapable fact, whether composer or writer, that the more you do it the better you tend to become.
Some of you will know that for the past year I have been writing reviews of board games for one of the UK’s online retailers, thus happily ticking the “be asked to write” box and the “get board games for free” box. It is not all cardboard and roses, though, as there have been some clunky games in there, but, in general, it has been a great experience, the community warm and welcoming.
Just as with composition, sometimes things can happen when you least expect them, and I was contacted a month ago out of the blue to write an article for an American games magazine. I adopted my usual policy of saying yes and then working out how to go about the problem, and submitted my article on Sunday, managing to do so before the deadline and within half a percent of the requested word count.
My writing does require occasional editing, and one sometimes has to put one’s ego aside for this, just as in composition one needs to be a harsh and objective critic of one’s own work, simultaneously best friend and worst enemy, but I received a reply yesterday from the magazine’s editor that opened as follows: “I am stunned. Beautiful prose, excellent pictures what a great article. Fantastic, sir”, which sounds suspiciously like a thumbs up. Anyhow, the same email asked me whether I would be happy to write something for the next issue of the magazine as well, to which the answer (obviously) is yes.
Pursuing what you want to do can often be a case of doing what you want to do to the best of your ability for as long as it takes until people begin to notice. Finding the time and energy to be able to do these things is difficult, but it is strange how things put out into the ether, words or music, can come back months or even years later and bring their rewards with them.