“I really don't think records should be made in the manner where you sit and write, and when you're finished writing, you start recording. That just seems conventional and old-fashioned to me.” – Jay Reatard, Born May 1, 1980.
Writing for the internet, for yourself, is pretty fucking punk.
You don't have time to engineer a masterpiece.
You have crap it out as fast as you write it. Or else the zeitgeist moves on.
You don't have the luxury your old granddaddies and grognards had, where they could toil away on that novel or letter and craft it to be this perfect jewel.
Before you finish, your audience is bored and has strayed.
No, you have to dedicate yourself to the rogue ethic of the punk rocker, or jazz noodler.
Perform. Publish. Do it now. Save as many steps as you can. Be as immediate as you can.
This present moment, what are you doing to further your goals? To make a living writing? To sell more stuff? To be your own boss?
At the time of this writing, I'm here at the bar at midnight after my family has gone to bed, listening to Jay Reatard and writing and publishing.
Am I a hustle/grind/24/7 zombie? No. This is what I want to do. This is my fun and my work. If I achieve any mastery at my craft, it's because I did it in public, here in front of you, an inch at a time.
If I had to write all this by myself on a typewriter, then wait months for it to be printed and bound by a publisher, you would not have it.
The internet suits my ethic and aesthetic.
It rewards my mode of working. Which is to just keep writing/publishing/writing/publishing every day.
Hey, even a video now and then.
But this internet thing, it's not like the old way of writing sales copy. It's a different beast, and you can't take full advantage of it by approaching it the way some dead guy who made millions in the 70s says to.
Hit the Post button. Hit the Stream button. Do it now.
<!—- lagniappe Cultist, the biggest takeaway here for you should be twofold. 1. Commit to PUBLISHING your work. Daily or as close to it as you can manage. Create new stuff until you have a big enough pile to plagiarize yourself and republish good stuff to new eyes and old fans. 2. Simplify the processes you use to create your material. Strip them down to the bare bones and then practice on making beautiful bones on the first try. Remove the warm up, and the safety net. Get out there and think of it as performing. Harlan Ellison once famously say all day in a book shop window with a typewriter to prove to passers-by that writing is real labor. But that always struck me because it was one of the first times I ever thought that writing can be just like playing music for a live audience. You crank it out and post. Crank it out and post. Edit after. Edit later. Edit when you post it a second time, months later. Let the method of working this way FORCE you to evolve your brain and the way it thinks about crafting language for your readers. Because this medium does not reward perfect craft. It rewards consistency. —->
2 thoughts on “You’re Not a Classical Composer – You’re a Punk Rock Shredder”
Is Jay's last name really Reatard? Interesting spelling of "retard". Looked it up in phone book, NSN. Is he a musicker, speechifyer, scriber, podder, what? CURIOUS.
It's his stage name. His music is amazing and it's a shame he died so young.