Why write?

When I was a kid, I wrote…a lot. I was the type of kid who kept journals, who constantly wrote poems, stories, essays, articles and I had a dream diary.

I always had notebooks with all sorts of thoughts and ideas. Sometimes they were just notes to myself, conversations with myself but other times it was like I was writing letters to people who would never read them.

I just needed to express myself…the emotions, the thoughts, would just erupt.

But it wasn’t enough. Words alone weren’t emptying the gaping festering wounds in my heart and mind that forced me to write in the first place.

Then I found a guitar. My dad had one and some Mel Bay level 1 books so one night I figured out a G chord and it was like breathing for the first time.

Since then writing music has been the primary manner in which I express myself. I still journal, I still write (like this blog for instance) but when that soulful eruption occurs, it’s always the same way: notebook, pencil, guitar and a bourbon-and-coke.

Sometimes I’m dry and empty and can’t get anything out so I just play for my own enjoyment, I have things to say but they aren’t focused or realized in any way beyond just wanting to hear notes come out of the amp or whatever. I like making noise sometimes but lately, the songs are coming.

I recently uploaded two new demos that came quickly, one right after the other. I was inspired.

Then yesterday, on my way home from work while still in the car, I found myself frantically reaching for a pen and anything I could find to write on. Within a mile I had a full verse. I got home, sat down with my notebook, pencil and bourbon-and-coke. Before I could finish the first cigarette I had a page full of lyrics.

It was cathartic. I just threw everything onto that page and it felt great.

Problem is, ha-ha…I have no music to go with it. Typically, as I said, I write words and music together but this time, the words just poured out so fast there holding the guitar was a distraction.

Once I was finished, I did pick up my trusty Martin and fooled around with three or four different keys and progressions but I’m not sold on any of them.

Part of my wants it to be gritty and angry. Part of my wants it to be wistful and pensive. I just don’t know.

If D minor is the saddest key and E minor is the darkest or angriest…what’s the best key for “to hell with it?”

I’m not sure…hopefully this weekend I’ll find the time to work on this song. I’m in a period of time where all I want to do is sit with my notebook, pencil, bourbon-and-coke, and guitar and do nothing but write…unfortunately, my reality is a lot different than it was in my twenties. I don’t really get to do that anymore…now every minute is precious.

Anyway…I write because I don’t know how else to get things out. I don’t know how else to keep what little hold I have of my sanity. I don’t know how else to cleanse my soul and empty my mind. I write because I have to write.