Luckily, my musical curiosities were set for the rest of my life. It was a collage of Hendrix, The Beatles, BB King, and George Benson, to name a few. I remember my young fascination with the strange backward guitar of the song, "Are You Experienced?" In musing on today's blog I naturally traveled way, way back to those early memories, to Jimi's question to me on those mornings, and to how I grew up with that range of influences. To how important plain old experience is when writing.
Don't knock the simplicity of this. We need such a reminder occasionally.
We live a life of experience, obviously, yet many of us distrust the worthiness of our everyday lives as fodder for writing material. Of course, everything we do all day long isn't poem worthy, isn't short story worthy. But there are nuggets of worth, ideas to mine all day when we're paying attention.
It's the art of life: It's not quite the mundane aspects of living that readers want (though that can be a novel approach to explore), but the art within normalcy. It's how we get that art on the page that requires our hard work.
I'm not much for New Year's resolutions, but I'll offer you this suggestion: Start journaling. If you don't journal in some form you're missing out a great deal of writing material. Write about your day. Thoughts. Fragments. Long paragraphs. Memories. Prompts to return to later. First lines. Last lines. Sketches. Colors. Titles. Music. Lists. Plots. The first thing you think of when you wake up. Before you fall asleep. Keep a dream journal. Collect photos. Anything. Everything. It's all potential writing material. In whole. In part.
It's not that "I woke up" is necessarily poem worthy, but perhaps that one line reminds you of something important, or you challenge yourself to write every morning for a week beginning with the line "I woke up" and see where the lines go. Make it the title: "I Woke Up." Journaling is a good way of noticing whether you "wake up" the same way every morning and whether something stands out worth wringing a bit of art from. It's in there.
Jimi knew the answer to his own question (and it wasn't just some bad metaphor for being altered). Yes, we are experienced. We simply have to notice.