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Friday, September 11, 2009

Blow Deep, Blow Hard: Be a Writer Man

Blow as deep as you want to blow

‘Ain’t this the way to live life? Just go for it. Just do it man. Dig? Simply get down and boogie with whatever rhythms your life offers up to you. Seems all there is to say today. So that’s it. No more from me. No, only kidding. Thought you were getting off easy didn’t you? Not with me you don’t. So, stick around, see what happens. Go with the flow, okay?

I dig music, like most people. But I don’t play an instrument, and I am not overly expert on musicology, nor do I have an understanding of all the stuff your average muso talks about. I guess I just dig what I dig and not bother with what I don’t. Know what I mean?

Kerouac, on the other hand really did know his stuff. His jazz stuff that is. You only have to search out on YouTube or whatever to for clips of Jack reading On the Road or something else and I think it’s when he was on, is it, the Ed Sullivan show and the guy is playing a couple of piano riffs (hey, I do know this music lingo...groovy), while Jack reads. You can really feel the music in his language. In addition, I’ve really got this since I’ve been reading the scroll version of On the Road: one long paragraph, less controlled or edited language than we find in the published version of the novel.

Another thing that comes across in the Scroll version is the real deep way in which Kerouac and Cassidy really blew, really dug what they were doing. Just read the sequence near the end where they’re in the brothel in Mexico and there’s music being played really loudly over loudspeakers. The scene really vibrates with the music that the reader can almost here. Well this reader could anyway.

What Kerouac is talking about when he says for us writers to blow as deep as want to, is just that. Really let it all hang out, put our hearts, souls, whatever into the words. Just like a jazz horn player. In Kerouac’s books, we meet them now and again and they really do just blow. Jazz is their world, their language, their, expression. Their lives really.

And isn’t that the case for us really truly type writers? Those jazzmen blow 'cos they ain’t got no choice: it’s who and what they are. Of course, they, like you and me and everyone else are lots of other things too: I’m not just a writer: I am a man, I am a husband, I am a groovy dude. You name it, there is no limit to the number of ways we can define ourselves with old misleading, limiting I am.

Anyway, getting badly sidetracked there. Sorry about that. Where was I? Yes. Most of us write because we have to, we can’t help it; we are not the same when we can’t write. Which for some of us, like me, means we are not quite ourselves a lot o the time! On my profile I have a sentence I like as a way of defining me: I write, therefore I am. Cool eh?

Same with the jazzman: he blows, therefore he is. Basically, put aside all this waffley stuff I’m going on with. You just gotta write, dig? Just blow! You can even apply it to all those other areas of your life that inform your writing: live to the full man. Just blow real deep in whatever you are doing or being or whatever.

Enough crapparooni from me. Today’s technique from old Jack isn’t too complicated, doesn’t take too much explanation, analysis, dissecting, or intellectualising. Not too hard to understand at all. You just gotta blow as deep as you want. And, man, that’s all there is to it. ‘Ain’t no writer ever born who amounted to anything who didn’t understand, who didn’t really and truly dig this advice.

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