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  • stuartrook

WHY I STOPPED WRITING TO YOU.

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

I used to do this every week. And then I stopped. This is me re-starting and also asking myself why I stopped in the first place and if I can do better this time around.


Recognise this?

As a kid did you ever have that feeling in an exam, that as your started writing an essay answer (say history or English where the question might be quite open ended) that you really had no idea what you were talking about?

I used to write every Monday. Nearly 50,000 emails went out. The writing wasn’t really about my music. It was more just thoughts, on stuff. Then I stopped. Years passed. And now I’m going to start again, at least partly because people have asked.


So why did I stop?


I thought I’d start up again though by explaining one of the reasons (I think) I stopped in the first place (and why I am starting again now).


Let me know if you recognise this.


As a kid did you ever have that feeling in an exam, that as your started writing an essay answer (say history or English where the question might be quite open ended) that you really had no idea what you were talking about?


But then, perhaps 5 minutes in, perhaps 10, something happened and it became clear to you that yes, in fact X is what you were saying, THAT was your idea.


To be fair it was damage control by that point, you’d already written a few paragraphs of total nonsense that you couldn’t (quite) bring yourself to cross out, but you could at least begin the ‘turning a tanker around’ sequence process of starting to express an actual idea that you’d genuinely had. But, it was useful and necessary.


The idea didn’t come until you had been forced (almost literally under sufferance of (apparently, we were told!) having no job prospects in this instance!) to really, really think about it.


Of course this wouldn’t work if you hadn’t actually done any revision and were spouting absolute drivelling bullshit (ha!) - but if you had done a fair bit, you weren’t a genius but you were attentive and had paid attention, something would coalesce under this pressure.


But perhaps even more so, by just writing things down and exploring your thoughts on the page, to yourself and others, things happen.


So I think that might be sort of who I am a little bit. I’ve paid attention a bit, done a bit of homework, but not enough to start out with a good answer from the moment the examiner tells me to start :)


So, I think that is what, with your permission, I’m planning on making these emails/pieces/words/whatever they are in, in future a sort of exploring of some thoughts and showing my working. I think I'll be able to keep that up, if I've given that caveat.


Because I think that one of the reasons I stopped writing to you was that if I wasn’t firing on all cylinders in my own life, it started to feel utterly disingenuous to write something that could be seen as professing, or even mildly hinting at, having some sort of insight into something or ‘having a good idea’ or ‘perspective’, when I couldn’t make that manifest in my own life.


I’m sure many folk have no problem with this disconnect whatsoever (and I’m sure we could all name a few!) but it troubles me a little, or certainly enough to not feel compelled to write anything down of this nature.


So that partly contributed to me stopping.


But I do have thoughts ‘like this’ - whatever ‘this’ is - and I’m happy to share them - and I’m sort of shocked to hear that years later people still fancy reading some of them. That’s great.

But I actually I suspect the main benefit that I will get out of this is having ‘permission’ (both from myself and from you) to write something down and for it to be taken in the spirit in which it is intended, which is entirely ‘a though I had’, and nothing more.


It’ll probably linked back to music, possibly even more specifically to rock history and creativity, but a thought none the less.


I’ll feel a lot freer to send you something if you know, because you’ve read this, that the is no professing of anything being right or wrong or good or bad. Just some thoughts, with sources cited.

So I guess this entire email is ’showing my working’ about how I’ve come to really see the value of ‘showing your working’ - and that is what I’d like these things to be.


I’ll just leave that there actually, that’s quite neat.


Extra: I think subconsciously one other reason for starting up now (there isn’t always one reason for things :) ) is that, with everything that’s happening, and the length of time it is now clear it will go on for, I’m more and more aware (I think we all are) that it effects people in different ways. I’m fine. I can tinker with music indoors and things are fairly normal. But loads of us have had their networks decimated and are struggling, so I have started to make contact with people to check it and it reminded me that I used to ‘check in’ with a fair few other people in this way before I stopped. So why not. Conclusion : no (real) reason.


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