Music writing has taken a (conscious) back seat for me of late. I've been writing music news, reviews and interviews since I was 15, which has been a great way to develop my style and practise 'the craft' while getting all the experience that comes with submitting work for publication.
However, with all those deadlines and a day job, I found that my fiction writing was always left for those moments when I had the headspace – which, as the day job grew in importance and responsibility, were becoming fewer and fewer: a weekend afternoon, holidays, an occasional long train journey.
I had to make a decision. If I was to really give my fiction writing a chance, if I was really going to take myself seriously – which is hard with fiction writing, as some days you want to laugh at your pathetic efforts! – then I had to let go of some of my writing commitments. I made that decision quietly, but funnily enough, it came at the right time: one editor moved on, another publication folded, and I kept my head down.
And it's worked. It was the right decision to make. I took a short story course to boost the morale and reinstate some deadlines, I founded a community writing group, I performed a creative non-fiction piece at Manchester Literature Festival, and I had some stories placed for publication. It feels like progress.
But when Mark from Folk Witness got in touch, asking if I'd be interested in contributing a piece or two, I couldn't refuse. It's a blog I've admired for some time. The writing is interesting and well thought through, the tone familiar without being jokey. He knows his stuff and he loves it (I just sung that to the tune of Katie Perry...)
So, this is a very longwinded way of saying: I'm writing about music again, and it feels like a lovely release.
Here's my first piece for Folk Witness on 'my' new discovery, Kaia Kater.