I wrote my last post at the end of last year. When the new year began I started to get the feeling that I would never write again. Never mind that for a long time it seemed as if everything was finally beginning to settle. 2019 was a year of many wins for this blog and its readers. But as the year drew to a close there was no doubt in my mind that I had sucked dry all the energy that kept this engine moving. These last four months have given me time to reflect consider why if ever I should pick the pen again.
There were countless times when I would log onto WordPress intending to put out a post. Frequently drafts didn’t go beyond a paragraph. At times I would agonise on a sentence but could barely muster the strength to string together a story. The platform and the hosting service didn’t help either. The constant server problems and utility of the platform just tended further to frustrate and it seemed as if I’d never get out of the writing slump. I just couldn’t find the motivation to get anything done. I had to do something to remedy the situation. I, therefore, decided to step away.
TIME HEALS ALL THINGS
There were lots of things to consider during that period of inactivity. One thing I realised was that I had placed value in the wrong things. I wondered what it was that made reporting on the scene such a difficult task especially considering how things were going. To begin with Rash a band that I had covered from its inception to date had finally received recognition on the wider continental front bringing home AFRIMA’s award for Best African Rock Act. We had ourselves run a very successful award show on a night that I must say was one of the best of my life. One of my best mates Sam and Martin had formed a new outfit called DUMA and accomplished a dream we’d both shared when starting out, playing a tour across Germany and Poland every rock star’s dream. The blog itself had grown in leaps and bounds covering both local and international acts with growing interest and goodwill from people that recognised the value of our content. But all of that suddenly felt empty. I looked at everything and felt completely deflated.
We’ve all watched teams that acquired championship success finding it hard to move on to new heights in the new season. Legendary coaches leave teams when it becomes clear to them that they can no longer motivate their players. Powerful empires fade into obscurity when they have reached their peak. And even though some may age gracefully, it is quite impossible to teach an old dog new tricks. And that’s exactly how I felt.
As much as reality had sunk home, I also realised that I wanted to move forward. Completely abandoning ship wasn’t in the works. So a few things needed to change.
YOU CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES
First things first – my perspective on what matters most had to change. Bearing fruit normally comes at the end of the cycle of things. As much as it may be pleasing to see bands bloom, friends reaching for their destinies and even the occasional personal wins that are but icing on the cake. The substance of what has driven this blog has always been the need to tell stories. I have resolved to focus on that and it has been like salve to an aching wound. Making each and every post part of my personal journey makes the burden a little less evident. And where it has for long felt like our voices are just echoing in a chamber, being more present at the moment will mean that I feel like I’m speaking to at least one person – myself. This way I feel a greater connection to everyone else.
To experience this renewal I have adopted certain strategies. For example, my taste in music seems to have gone bland, I can no longer stomach new bands or the super noodly sub-genres that seem to be cropping up endlessly nowadays. Am I still a rock head? The answer would be yes. Partly because the music that I liked when I started out still carries the same and perhaps now a more profound significance. I’m back to sampling Judas Priest, AC/DC, Green Day, Flyleaf, Black Sabbath and all my old haunts. Cannibal Corpse still bears the same distinctive taste and Nile’s Annihilation of the Wicked plays even in my dreams. And even though I’m so close to clocking thirty I still find that I’m a sucker for Opeth. So I’ll listen to more of what I used to find engaging and hopefully like Ezekiel I can hope to give flesh to old bones.