What’s your one tip (that doesn’t get discussed enough) for a writer trying to improve in 2022?
Trust your struggle. And don’t be afraid to move your talents to new mediums. Writing is an elastic art. Stretch it. No one will ever be in the seat you’re in, don’t miss the chance to say how it feels to sit there.
What’s the thing you read when you want to remember how to write?
Usually the Bible. Book of Psalms is a good way to remember that the best writing is to the sky. But for the non-Christians, comics. I learned that from Ta-Nehisi Coates. He put me on to Alan Moore’s
Swamp Thing in one of his Atlantic posts from back in the day. I was just rereading some of my favorite issues. It’s a little too psychedelic at times, but sometimes you need some radical fiction to remember writing is what you make it.
I also went through a phase where I was reading a lot of Greg Tate before he passed. Greg, James Baldwin, and Amiri Baraka are my big three when I need to get out of any mental trenches.
What do you do with all the writing ideas that pop into your head? Where do they go?
Notebooks and the note app. I lose all the good ones during phone calls. Something about speaking ideas too thoroughly takes away the magic of getting them down.
What’s the hardest part about being a writer? What’s the best part?
It never gets any easier when you care. It’s always better when you care.
Who do you think really knows how to do a newsletter?
I like what Dan Runcie is doing with Trapital. I like what Gary Suarez is doing with Cabbages. Pigeons & Planes has a cool one. David Turner’s Penny Fractions is good. So is Water & Music. Jewel Wicker just started hers back up, a must subscribe. But mostly, I read old journalism. I’m always in somebody’s archives looking for something to resurrect.
Is there a thing you’ve written and have actually enjoyed going back experiencing?
The Colture Playbook that I wrote with Ty Baisden for
DJBooth. Being able to share Ty’s knowledge on the music business always feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity. They don’t make too many as candid and clever and concise. It’s just a good, informing read in a way that makes you think differently. And that’s always the goal, to change somebody’s mind or inspire a new thought in somebody tired of seeing things through old constructs.
How would you describe your relationship with your readers? (especially if it’s evolved)
I used to have no readers. Zero. Now we have a few more. I try to keep some sense of awareness, but I try not to think about it too much anymore. I just pray it makes sense to somebody other than myself. But if I’m the only one who gets it, so be it.