Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pink at the Grammys

I don’t typically watch the Grammys. I’m not that much into music. I basically only listen when I’m exercising. I really don’t understand the difference between an album, a record and a single. Okay maybe an album and a single.

But I was waiting for Big Love and decided I would flip over. I flipped just in time to see Pink perform a song called Glitter in the Air. What little I know about music, I know I like Pink. She’s on Ellen (who I dvr daily) a lot. And I like the song about her wanting to fight someone when I’m jogging.

I stopped and watched and was memorized. The song was beautiful. But beyond that she did this Cirque’du Soleil routine.

In a transparent leotard, she is suspended in the air several feet off the ground in a white sheet/swing contraption. She is spinning and singing and then is lowered into a tank of water. She comes out of the tank of water soaking wet and continues to sing (miraculously). Then hangs upside down while singing and dripping. Finally she does an upside down camel spin like they do on ice skates. If you can, Youtube it. It’s truly special.

It made me think about performance. A lot of artists, great artists, talented artists, could have just gone up on stage and sang their song. I understand she’s done the act before in her concert so it wasn’t like it was something new, but she really rocked it.

The next day I went to buy the song off of Itunes – and no surprise it had hit the top 10 most popular list. Others must have also seen this performance.

What does this have to with writing? It made me think that performance really does translate. When you knock something out of the ballpark people are going to find it. They will talk about it. Granted as writers we can’t literally hang from a sheet and drip on people (I’m not sure that would compel anyone to buy my books if I did) but we can go over the top.

We can go beyond just writing a “good” book. We’re writers. We’ve got talent and abilities. Published or yet to be published the people who take the craft seriously must have a gift or they wouldn’t persevere.

So let’s go beyond the gift. Let’s make that a given and take it one step further. Figuratively, let’s get naked and hang from ceilings above a crowd. Let’s spin and drip and sing. Let’s all write the book that everyone is talking about the next day. The book that you have to have because it’s that amazing.

Sound good? Great.

Any hints or suggestions from the masses on how to do this would be greatly appreciated.


Karen W said...

Uh, yeah. You beat me to it at the end of your blog post.

But I'll paraphrase/repeat. Any tips as to how to do this would be greatly appreciated.

Every time I start a book, that's my intention. Write a freakin' fantastic book. It doesn't always turn out that way. Some stories leave you with the "WTH was I thinking when I proposed THIS idea?". Others, you finish up with an "All riiiight. This is pretty darn good."

I've never had the feeling that one of my books was the be all, end all. Heck, even if I was lucky enough to write one, I wouldn't recognize it. I don't think writers are subjective about their own work.

Sinead M said...

I too would love some tips. I think it's a combination of magic, perfect timing and semi-psychotic trance...

But I have up to this point, been unable to put into practice.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I think we're using the wrong drugs...

But I like the idea of dripping water over my readers while spinning over them as they read my book.

Eileen said...

I think I've had moments when I was spinning naked and dripping water, but they're only moments. I'd like to figure out how to do that over the course of a whole book.

Maureen McGowan said...

That Pink number was quite the spectacle at the Grammy's. So was the Lady Gaga/Elton John thing... and the Green Day number. (The Green Day number is on frequent rotation on my itunes right now. Woke up singing it this morning.)

And a great reminder to at least try to smash things out of the park.

I saw a venn diagram the other day. (Glancing at someone else's laptop screen. Is there a word like eavesdropping for that? Screendropping?) The one circle was fear of failure, the other fear off success, and the intersection was labeled mediocrity.

Maybe it is all about fear? Maybe drugs or semi-psychotic trances reduce fear? (Lord knows I am full of fear right now. Lack of drugs, I guess. ;)

Stephanie Doyle said...

Okay to recap... no one has the answer to smashing it out of the park. But so far are best bets are more drugs and be fearless.

Not bad. I really like the fear thing. It reminds me of one of my favorite lines from a movie.

Love Actually anyone? Liam Neelson is trying to help his 12 year old step son who has a crush on a girl.

"Let's go get the shit kicked out of us by love."

I've never done that. I've never rushed head forward. Maybe that's what we need to do as writers.

"Let's go get the shit kicked out of us by the publishing industry, agents editors and readers!"

Wendy Marcus said...

I think we should all try wearing a leotard similar to the one Pink wore, while we write. I don't know you all, but I'm guessing it would pull us all out of our comfort zone, make us feel different, daring. For the more confident among us, how about wearing it to a book signing or RWA National. That will get attention!

Molly O'Keefe said...

I'm going to print that up as a banner - "Let's get the shit kicked out of us by the publishing industry"

Wendy - you let me know how that leotard goes...

Wendy Marcus said...

Hi Molly!
Off topic....I tried to send you a message on your website. It kept coming up that I had spam words and should try again. (I swear it was G-rated....maybe that was the problem!) Anyway, after three tries I gave up. I wanted to thank you for the article Notes from Writing the First Three Chapters. I found it very helpful!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Hi Wendy -- that's weird about the email - did you have the words penis enlargement or discount drugs in the title? Never mind - I get all those emails.

I'm glad the notes were helpful - thanks for stopping by!!

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