What the hell am I going to write?
I used to keep a journal, but I found that when I did that, it sort of devolved into navel-gazing pablum. The fact it was private allowed me to vent a whole ton of shit that maybe, possibly, I needed to get out, I'll admit that. However, it also allowed me to wallow in anger that could've been directed to something creative in some way. I wanted to keep the ritual of writing every day, but force myself beyond the poor-me bullshit that was piling up.
So, when I joined MySpace (Wha? What is that? Is that where all the bands are?), I saw they had a blog feature. So I decided to take my musings and push them outward. It put me in a position where I couldn't simply write things like:
******* was such a fucking asshole last night!! I can't believe that prick thinks he can tell me how to act! Sometimes I want to punch him right in the goddamn nose!!
Yeah, regular Shakespeare I was.
The fact that these little journals are now public, and I don't hide my identity, means that I have a responsibility. A responsibility to not just indulge my base, wounded animal reactions and spew them on a piece of paper like a teenager. To put some thought into what I write here. I still may think ******* is a fucking asshole, yes, I may want to punch him in the goddamn nose, but have to think more than that.
The fact is, that limitation I put on myself has reverberated out into a lot of facets of my life. Firstly, it's changed the way I look at theatre. You may want to indulge your immediate, self-gratification instincts, but y'know what, this is going in front of people, and...
You need to think more than that.
You know why most political theatre, hell most general theatre, sucks? I'll tell you why, it's because most of it is the same as my pen-and-paper blog. It's venting on a page. Little Bobby McGhee is pissed off because Bush was president for eight years, ir that we're still in Afghanistan, or Obama got elected (oh, who am I kidding...who writes right-wing theatre?), or that he can't get a date, or his mother coddles him, or whatever, and he vents that all over the paper.
Do you have any idea how lame that is?
It's like watching a homeless psychotic walking up the street, they're screaming about something that means a hell of a lot to them, in their fevered mind, but you? You walking by on the street? It's just embarrassing.
Why is it embarrassing?
It's embarrassing because there's no control, there's no art. It's raw emotion, and folks, raw emotion only gets you so far. It's an essential part of a first draft, but from the second forward, you better be shaping that into something that molds that emotion with intellect.
Second thing that going public with the blog got out of me was accountability.
I have 2 CDs worth of my attempts at musical expression. They exist. They sit in my CD shelf right between "Poundhound" and "Pride and Glory." (Both awesome bands, BTW) That would never have happened without the blog.
See, I said on my blog that I ought to try making music again. Once I said that, people asked me about it. (The one great advantage of MySpace blogs was that it tracked visitors...I knew about 25-30 people were reading each day.) Once people asked me about it, I was on the hook to not become a person who talked about doing things and never actually made the effort.
Hypocrisy is something I do not want to entertain. I mean, I fail at that all the time, but I, at the very least, try to fight against it. So, when I say I want to do something in a public forum, I'm going to at the very least give it the 'ol college try.
Which is why I'm EXTREMELY careful to never mention writing a book.