This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Austin City Limits music festival in beautiful Austin, TX. Coming off the heels of the festival, I wanted to share a music and writing related post. I’ve mentioned it before, but music plays a huge roll in my life, and definitely contributes to my creative writing process. Today’s post comes to us from Colin Weaver. Colin is a Cincinnati-based musician and writer, and as a musician has more authority to speak about the intricate connection of the creative process across different media, as I’m only good at listening to music, not creating it. If you get a minute, be sure to visit Colin’s SoundCloud page to listen to some of his tunes! I’m a personal fan of “Blue and Gold” and “Minute Hand”. The following post originally appeared on Colin’s blog.
Writing and Music. Music and Writing.
I’ve always been the kind of person who takes interest in something, and rather than just passively appreciating it and moving on, immediately decides that they want to know everything about it and do it or partake in it. I was that way when I discovered skateboarding at six years old, when I discovered philosophy at fourteen, when I started driving at sixteen, and I certainly haven’t stopped being that way since. In fact, this pattern of careless dedication has actually made it quite difficult to see through or fully commit to a lot of the activities and subjects I’ve picked up over the years. Just when I’m starting to get the halfway decent at skateboarding, I discover Sartre and drown myself in books. Just when I think I can maybe understand any of it, I decide to learn how to work on and modify cars. It never ends.
Two things I’ve picked up, however, have stayed with me — they’ve somehow survived my unreasonably fickle attention span: music and writing. Both started as an innocent exploration into the arts, but they have now become absolutely integral to my own self exploration, happiness, and life in general. Believe it or not, it started with writing. I remember English class in high school being the only subject that didn’t bore me to death. I remember enjoying writing poetry, writing in our mandatory journal, even writing essays. Writing became a way to translate bits and pieces of the emotional spectrum into something almost tangible. It became a way to breathe. I’d been playing music my whole life, but only as a hobby. So when I finally realized I could integrate both music and writing, I became completely engulfed. What I used to see as two separate entities were now blurred together and working together. And that’s something that I am so, so grateful for.
I approach writing music and writing in general almost exactly the same. For me, it always starts with this pressing urge to get something out; to explain something, to relive something, even if only for myself. Whether I end up writing poetry, a story, or a song, depends entirely on how I feel at the time. They each have their own purpose for me and they each suit different needs.
I’ve always loved sharing things I’ve created with anyone willing to listen. Not out of an egotistical desire, but simply because it’s how I relate best with other people. Luckily, with the advent of the internet, it’s become really easy to do that. Tumblr, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Flickr, Facebook, etc. have made sharing so easy it’s amazing, and things seem to be getting better and better for those of us who want to make a living do what we love as well. Being able to sell what we create without going through a corporate middleman is becoming easier and easier.
Now it’s getting easier with writing, too. There’s this new company called Kbuuk I recently discovered that lets independent authors publish their works online themselves, retaining complete control over the entire process. You keep your royalties, control your marketing, and most importantly, keep the rights. Kbuuk also has rich analytics built in that allow you valuable insight into how to promote your work, and lets you publish on great platforms, like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Kobo. As a writer and a musician, services like these are invaluable to me, and I am beyond happy that our current trend towards DIY-everything continues to progress. So if you’re a writer (which I know many of you are) it’s definitely something to check out. I recently created a profile, and I’ve been thinking about publishing a short book of some of my poetry, so keep an eye out for that. I also want to support my fellow tumblr-creators, so if any of y’all happen to join, please let me know!