I went to see John Mayer a few months ago. I first started listening to him TWENTY-THREE years ago with Room For Squares and a friend of mine got me reacquainted to his newest album Sob Rock so we could go to his concert together. While I haven’t listened to him continuously for the last twenty-three years, I have enjoyed listening to his music and I realized how much he has changed as an artist.
It is really neat to be able to watch an artist grow – play and practice his craft and hone his skills. All of our favorite artists do this. Listen to your favorite musician’s first album and their most recent album. You will be able to hear the difference! Better yet, watch an early live recording and a recent one on youtube.
This is a reminder that as artists we GET to be new at things. We get to hone our skills, build our craft, and play. We all practice. We all need to practice. Even John Mayer, with 23+ years of experience, needs to practice.
How do you do that with writing? Read more. Read widely. Write more, write weirdly. You don’t have to write every day or for hours at a time. Pick up a notebook and carry it with you for a week. Any time you have downtime where you’d pick up your phone to scroll, take out that notebook instead and notice something in your surroundings. Are you on the subway and there’s a guy with elvis-hair? Write a character sketch. Are you listening to half of an interesting phone conversation at a cafe? Jot down a scene and practice your dialogue.
Being new at something is not a bad thing.