MOST of you, or maybe none of you, never saw how iffy the last AJ site was. Where’s the line between kitsch and bad? Moot point, because things are much-refreshed, very purple, and generally nicer around here.

MORE later.

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The record is finished. This should be a really euphoric thing. And it is. But it’s also a relief. And it’s sad.

Finished means these songs are done. No more versioning, and hopefully I’ve stopped while still adding, not taking away. I’ve always somewhat-lethargically enjoyed the freedom of thought to stop on a song. You know, I’ll work and polish later. There’s safety in this too. Unfinished means relaxed judgement; a ‘yeah, but.’ Being content with a diamond in the rough. This mindset allows you to give yourself the permission to jump out of the process. This is the laziness talking.

There is pressure within trying to creating great work, and you can feel it in the process—the responsibility of finishing something great. Easy to just make something. Hard to make something that has potential to be great actually great.

And I am always trying to win in a sense. It’s a win over myself. Can I tap in? Can I just let it flow? Can I be patient enough to let it come? There are a million more question. Any you can’t directly ask them either.

Anyway, the point is all of this is that it looks like hot-on-the-heals of finishing, I only have a one-week break before the next round of writing with my songwriter group (peer reviewed, 12 songs in 12 weeks). So do I let myself off he hook? I just did all this work and spent all this money finishing the record. Need to work. Need to take a week off. Take the Fall off from writing. Right?

No.

Always do the group. Why? Because I always write when I’m in the group. And I am a writer. Writing obviously produces works, and at my very worst, I’m at least one of four. So how could I not.

For example, yesterday I was farting around and had a something pop up. Some  music with a little extra life to it. These somethings—a snippet that’s different—come not every time. But they only happen for me when I’m in writing mode. Really,  I could make a wee bit of time to finish it (or finished enough for the next stage). How much time does it really take? JD: always do it. Here’s a snippet that became Up All Alone. This is the product of the farting around, writing part.

What if I was out—or gave myself the permission to sit out of the group this last summer? What’ve been the real cost? Well, I was like 6 of 8 this summer (keepers to songs written). On fire! And, 2 of the songs made the record, bring it up more than a few notches (not to mention the single, here).

In the case of Up All Alone, I’d have one less keeper.

Lesson: always stick to your patterns and what works . This is where the real growth happens. I can see and hear it. There is a fallacy that art is not work. It’s soul-soul-crushing work. But you have to do the work.

It took about 100 song to get things right, and it takes a lot of time to write 100. You have to do the work.