“Write what you know” is a terrible idea
June 6, 2023


Write what you know. That’s what all those people making a living giving other people advice say. “Write what you know.”

That’s terrible advice and if your new online course with the latest advice guy tells you to do that, ask for your $29.95 a month back.

Don’t like to read? Victoria reads this email to you!

Look. Maybe if you’re like my friend Phil you can get away with that kind of stuff. Phil knows everything about music. Everything. Mention a song and he’ll say “Oh, are you talking about the 1943 version or the 1967 version?” And then proceed to tell you who played trombone on each of them and about how it’s interesting that after both sessions, the band enjoyed some especially lean corned beef at Carnegie Deli.

So, if you’re Phil, you can get away with it. Me? I know music stuff. I could go on and on about how the dominant 7 should always be followed by some other musical term that makes me sound smart, and how it all works if you have a good musical foundation.

So, it’s more or less the far less “manual labor” version of writing about building a brick wall. You put down a brick. You find something sticky that will hopefully stand the test of time, and then you put another brick on top of that. Then you do the same thing, going left to right.

There… you just got four years of music school, and you can build that wall in your garden.

That’s why I make stuff up. Once again, you didn’t think I’d get here did you? Me either, so let’s just keep moving.

I make stuff up. I don’t know crap about evil robots, or badass fairies that inhabit an island of feral boys and one armed pirates. And other than having visited Notre Dame, I know nothing of the bell tower, and the same with the Paris Opera. And I just don’t want to know that much about the Paris sewers in order to be able to knowledgeably write about it for you.

And I don’t even make up those stories. I read some other person’s made up stuff, and I figure that can’t possibly be true, and that no one’s ever gonna believe that. Then I go and make up a whole new thing that is totally believable…ish.

And then I write music for it.

Hey, I have a rich imagination and I’m just never gonna remember if the corned beef was lean or if they even had lunch. So, see? This works out for everyone.

Lunch some place nice, and I don’t try and sell you a coffee table book on decorative brickwork.

But what’s this got to do with artsy, cinematic songs and scores and silent films? It means you get crazy made up stories about evil robots, badass fairies, one-armed pirates, and lots of really crazy stuff happening in the Paris sewer, AND… it’s all set to music!

Well, my work here is done. Enjoy lunch and the song of the week. I’ll see you next week when I share my “Bricklaying for Dummies” YouTube video.

Dude, is that corned beef for lunch and what’s in it for me?
I miss the Carnegie Deli. You could eat for a week on one of their sandwiches.

Bottomline it for me
– Made up is better
– Music theory = bricklaying
– A good foundation is everything
– Katz’s Deli has delicious corned beef
– Badass fairies rule

That’s it, I’m not gonna get all mushy.

See ya ~ Kevin

p.s. The website has a beautiful brick deli serving 24/7. The socials think their coffee table book of decorative cinder blocks is gonna be an Amazon best seller book.

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