Reviving the blog: now shorter and more spontaneous!
Well, the entire summer passed with only one post from Wait Till You Hear This One. And yet the world kept spinning on its axis, amazingly. The post below is about how I’m going to try to write shorter and more frequent posts, be more spontaneous, and just write about whatever fiddle stuff I happen to be interested in at the time, rather than trying to write some sort of detailed fiddle instruction manual. Hope those of you who’ve been kind enough to Like it still like it. Let me know.
I really enjoy connecting with people through the blog—writing the blog is something I genuinely want to do—and yet lately I seem to have a real block about posting. I’m a writing teacher, and when my students feel blocked, I tell them to try to come at the subject from a different angle. I was just reading an essay by the great writer Ann Patchett where she says, flat out, that writers’ block is a myth.
So I’m going to try to follow my own advice, ignore my supposed writers’ block, and try something different. I think the problem was that I had focused the blog too narrowly on teaching tunes. The way I’d set it up didn’t really lend itself to just spontaneous spouting off with my many theories about old-time fiddle playing, or maybe posting a small insight about just one part of a specific tune—and I have those all the time. Also, I had established a format that wasn’t really very “blog-like.” I labored for days over those few posts that I put up, partly because I enjoy doing that, but probably also because I was thinking too much about the excellent players and knowledgeable scholars who might come across it, rather than just trying to please myself and hope I found an audience. I wanted to make everything airtight and perfect. But blogs are really more suited to spontaneous writing, capturing a moment. This is another thing I tell my students and have been ignoring myself.
So my new goal is just to post things that I’m thinking about or working on, and not spend a lot of time researching, filming, writing, and revising. Just go ahead and put something out there. If I regret it, I can post about it again later. But I won’t go back and edit or correct. This kind of goes along with things I’m working on in my life now. But that’s not really what the blog is about. Have to draw the line somewhere.
The new subtitle is “Tunes from (mostly) dead fiddlers. With the occasional crackpot theory thrown in.” I’m hoping that sets a lighter, less pompous tone and will free me up to post shorter more casual thoughts on a wider variety of old-time fiddle topics. I still reserve the right to post the occasional long essay on a tune if I feel like it, but I’ll try to keep most posts short, and centered on a picture or video. Thanks for reading! See you again soon, I hope.