I think I can be forgiven for taking something of a short break for the blog for a week or two, as I think can everyone in the world who has needed some space to recalibrate and rebalance after finding that the world - their world - has very much been tipped up onto its head. Initially, this blog was set up with the goal of communicating with whoever might be interested a little bit about me, my book, my process and how I have started to make my own way as a writer. That all seems a bit trivial now, given the huge and potentially crushing stresses that are now manifest. So, I was struggling with feelings of "what's the point?" unable to find the motivation, as my news seems small beer compared to the world we are currently living in.
But some quiet self-reflection works wonders, and I think we've all certainly got a bit of time to do that at the moment. And, after some time pondering, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to try and do something. Maybe my mundanities might be useful, after all? Maybe someone might come to the blog and enjoy being distracted by something that, on the surface, doesn't seem to matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. Because maybe - just maybe - it's the desire for the return of simple pleasures and simple worries that'll help us get through this incredibly difficult time.
So, my advice, to myself as much as anyone else, is to not feel guilty about doing things that qualify as "normal" - I'm going to make time to read a book, or watch some nonsense on the telly, or escape into music. And, hopefully, I'll be sure to keep writing here as well.
My whole life has been about music - I spent twenty-five years selling records to people, and being in that environment has introduced me to all kinds of new music, as well as ensuring that my tastes are pretty broad. Working with similarly passionate people, all with a huge variety of interests, has encouraged me to keep an open mind when it comes to different music. So, that snobbish kid I was in my teens, narrow of taste, in time, became someone who could appreciate good things from all manner of genres.
I came to love a good pop song. Don't get me wrong - I like doom-dirge post-rock as much as the next person, but the sugar rush of a good pop song is nigh-on impossible to dislike. A good chorus, a good hook, or an unavoidably exciting key change are amongst my very favourite things in life. A sweet confection, sure, but I have a sweet tooth. So, to finish today, here's one for you.
I heard this, maybe for the first time, over the weekend. GOTTA WORK by AMERIE. Imagine someone heard CRAZY IN LOVE and set out to make a record that did everything that song did, in an equally fresh and exciting way. It grabs you by the collar, drags you to your feet, and does not let go until your feet are tired. I absolutely love it.
Listen here. Play loud. You only get one chance to hear this for the first time...
Take care, everyone.