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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The "So What?"

Part of my constructive (or sometimes, destructive) self-talk about committing to a major project involves a question of, "So what?" I once heard Simon Cowell say those words to a finalist on American Idol, and I've always thought he's got a valid point. Why should somebody read this book? Who do you imagine reading this, outside of your friends and family? Why should anyone care?

This isn't a call to bend over backwards and please everyone. Far from it. But it's a question of understanding why you're doing what you're doing and why you want it out there.

In the case of the second book, knowing full well that any accolades I received for Post could be zapped (or not) because of how people respond to it, I think there's a lot of value in this risk. No matter how maligned the sophomore effort may be received (or not), I think people should do a sophomore effort if they believe in their heart and mind that there should be a sophomore effort.

With When We Were the Kids, I see tremendous value in looking at the relationships between people who play in bands. There are enough books out there about teenage relationships, but none that I've seen really capture what it's like to play in a garage band as a teenager. Moreover, the kind of experience that I, along with plenty of other people I've met, have had.

Plus, I want to present a story about playing music that has nothing to do with receiving Gold or Platinum records, playing sold-out shows, or making millions of dollars. We have plenty of stories that cover the spoils and tragedies of those feats. So, how's about a more universal story where playing in a band is more of the foundation rather than the walls, windows, and doors?

This is where my head is, even though I have maybe twenty pages of material written so far. I guess this asking of "So what?" is close to what my mother had placed at her computer as she wrote her dissertation. More proof that I'm definitely my parents' son.

1 comment:

Ted said...

That's great that you're off and running on your next project!