What if I Don’t Want to Play by the Rules?

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1404388 by Andreas Krappweis http://www.sxc.hu/profile/KrappweisWhen my middle daughter was taking an interest in music, I tried to teach her some piano basics, and a bit about music theory. Nothing elaborate. Things like chord patterns that work well, melodic structure, lyric writing.

She dismissed it all. “I know what I want to do, and I don’t need all that stuff.” To me, her playing sounded like she was just picking two keys at a time, stringing pairs of sounds together, vaguely timed against some clock that didn’t exist.

No lyrics. She was a poet, and I guess the lyrics were going to stay in her head, not come out of her mouth.

Fast forward 5 years. I mentioned that, at the time, it sure seemed like all she wanted was to “let her genius flow unhindered” rather than learning a few basics that could turn her meandering into real songs.

She said, “Yeah, I was just being lazy and pretentious. I need all that stuff. Will you teach me now?”

Her lyrics never fail to make me cry or laugh out loud. Her melodies are mature. She’s a decent piano player. And one of the finest singers I’ve ever known.

Lateral arabesque to a location somewhere in my head.

Chatting with Tom “The Write Word” Bentley about pay per word for article writing. We’ve also chatted about writing contests. He does both; writes for magazines, and enters (and sometimes wins) contests.

Only once have I submitted my writing to a venue which required someone’s approval (a local annual writer’s journal. It was rejected. When I got my copy, I was not sad, because it wasn’t a good fit for me.)

I love the idea of getting a buck a word for a short article in some magazine.

I don’t love the idea of wading through the red tape and hoop-jumping to get there.

I’m truly not sure, right this moment, if I’m being lazy and pretentious or simply ignoring a path that’s not right for me.

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