They read my letter. Here's the link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125511610 Here's the original story I commented on: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125456925 Have fun! Adam
Here's my answer to Darcy's excellent question. And I ponder it yearly and daily. I think it's less like me giving people what they want, and more like us having a conversation. If I only write what I want, it's like throwing darts at a dartboard with my eyes closed. That can be satisfying, but only if it's the throwing that gets you off. For me, throwing is fun, but making contact is more satisfying. Giving people what they "want" for me would be like walking the dart over to the dartboard and pushing it in. Who cares about that? Connecting without going through the process. No risk, no real contribution. I think getting published is like getting hired. You can have a bull's-eye resume and no one will look at it at all. On the other hand, if you know someone in the community in which you want to work, you can get the job ahead of people who are more qualified than you. Same with books. Write a great book, and then try and interest someone in it. Hard, hard, hard. That's why many novels get published that aren't the best books. The author of the cheap romance novel understood the community, became part of it by making inroads into that world, was able to make genuine contact with an agent or a publisher because they both had the same goal. I'm not going to try to write substandard books. Rather, I want to write the best book I can while ALSO giving something to an audience. For years I only wrote "what I wanted" and almost NOBODY listened. Not friends, nor family, nor fans. If they did, they had very little to say back to me. I got almost no feedback, or I got feedback about my "talent" instead of the work. Because of these results, I had to question what I was doing. Who was I writing for, and why? What was different about what I was doing and what Bruce Springsteen was doing? Or James Joyce? He's obscure as obscure gets, but he somehow reached people. Why? These questions are essential, even if the answer doesn't change what you're doing.
Hi, Adam Cole Watchers, You probably noticed I haven't been here in quite a few weeks. Yes, I've been busy. Yes, family and job calls. But no. I've been avoiding you. I haven't been keeping my promise, not to you, or to myself. I'm still doing things according to my old pattern. Submit a few things all at once, get rejected, and then sulk for a year. Well, here's what I think about that: First of all, I'm beginning to understand how people get published. They get published the same way they get a job. They are part of a community, and they write for that community about something they know the community will value. I do not write for the communities of which I am a part. At least not usually. More often I write for a larger, imaginary community. Then I look for someone I imagine might want it in their community. I'm not part of a writer's group, or a poet's group, or any group. Just this group...us. Is that okay? I don't know. All I know is I write, and I write, and I can't stop writing, and some of what I write I simply imagine will be valuable to some people that I haven't met yet. It isn't a very good way to get published, but it's a great way to keep writing. For me, anyway. So here's what I'm thinking: I need to keep writing what I want, and self-publishing it, because it's for you. Okay, so it may only reach a couple people, may never recoup its cost. But them's the breaks. It's for THIS community. My community in my head. I can't just let it sit there. I have to at least get it out. And I don't think I can fit it into anyone else's community. I think that will be a waste of my time and effort. At least at this point. On the other hand, I can't just give up trying to get published by other people. I have to...whew, this is hard...I have to get into a community, become part of a community, maybe value the communities I'm in. And write for them. That makes me a lot more vulnerable, more accountable, more publishable. So I'm going to be self-publishing some of this stuff that I think is good that belongs to those people that know me and want to read what I have to say. And I'm also going to keep looking for where I belong. Begin to change my writing, find out what community I'm in, or could be in. okay? Love, Adam
Dear AC Watchers, Here's a little preliminary listen to what we did on Febrary 28th! Go to my music tab and find three songs, recorded by my friend Craig Gendreau (and nicely mixed by him). We're shooting for a slightly higher-quality mix later, but now you can at least hear some of what we got. Enjoy! Adam
My Woodwind Quintet is done. It only took me 18 years to write it. And it's only 12 minutes long. That's...what...1 1/2 years for each minute of the piece? Go to my music page to hear it. Let me know what you think. Love, Adam
Now that you've seen Adam Cole produce an album in a single month... It's time to see your favorite cover band once more, the Wipes, this time doin' music FOR THE GROWNUPS! Yes, the Wipes are performing to benefit the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool, and this time we're takin' no prisoners. Eurythmics, Police, Jayhawks, James, Springsteen, all the tunes you never thought you'd hear us do. The event is free and open to the public. Lots of amazing items to see and bid on, lots of great things to eat and drink. You won't see the Wipes like this again, so check us out while we're still ADULTS!!! Go to http://www.gpcp.org for all the details! Love, Adam
Dear friends and Adam Cole Watchers, Round about 3 PM they started arriving. Billy Rossbottom with his bass. Alan Connor, Brad Kaegi, Philippe Bout with their guitars, my fellow Feldenkraiser Louise Runyon, old friends Mark and Sylvia Davis, and synagogue companion Gil Grodzinsky with their voices, my daughter's cello teacher Marie Pantina with her cello, fellow elementary music teacher Craig Gendreau with his Djembe and recording equipment, and the formidable William Rossoto with his video gear, capturing the whole thing on film! A couple of them were seasoned musicians, a few were amateur players . Some didn't even consider themselves to be musicians at all, or even musical! They just came to sing the best they could...what bravery!!! Gil, Craig and Marie hadn't even rehearsed last week, but came and dove right in. And so we rehearsed about 30 seconds of each song, took a break for me to get my vocal mike, and then we did it. One take per song. Straight through. It was great. Sure, we made mistakes. Some of the endings are panicked. One of the tunes has a false start. But who cares? Everyone just kept on going, and at the end, there were smiles everywhere! I never could have dreamed we'd pull it off like this. My wife was unbelievable. She organized the cleaning of the house, cooked two pots of soup, watched the baby, and even took these amazing photos!!! I was able to offer her a small thank you by playing a song that I wrote just for her, which the whole band sang. It's on the record. So we did it. And hopefully soon, when Craig and William are finished, you'll be able to see and hear what we did. The best part is that the day belongs to everyone. I think folks were a little surprised at what the experience was like. Everyone was a little subdued at the end, like "Wow. That was interesting!" I can only imagine what it must be like for the folks who don't even feel like they can sing to be able to say to themselves, "I helped record an album today." Last but not least, thanks to those who were our audience, especially David and Andrea, Shonda, Scott, and the several hundred children who were running around our house during the whole thing! I'm going to call the record "The Best of [Both] Worlds," after Billy's thoughtful comment from last blog. Keep checking in. I'll have more news about the record, and other things, soon! Love, Adam
Pretty well!!! We had 3 guitarists, 5 vocalists, 1 bass-player, 1 man from Prague who was a friend of a vocalist taking pictures, and 1 videographer who was another friend of a vocalist videoing everything! All along, we had the children running around playing, making a joyful noise. We learned all ten songs in about an hour and a half, and then we all sat down for some delicious homemade soup, with wine or beer or what-have-you. I'm very excited about next week. It was such a kick to sing my songs with people! I can't wait for you to hear it, and to add your own voices and hands. Adam
Nah, it can't be about me. However well-meaning my good friend David's comments are, he isn't coming from my head. Yes, it's good to be selfish sometimes, but not when your regular outlook is selfish. I don't wake up thinking what I can do for other people. I wake up thinking what I can do for myself. It's my struggle against this notion that makes me capable of doing good things. I take care of myself. But I also tend to think that I need to take care of myself because no one else will. That isn't accurate. It takes events like this one to wake me up to the reality that not everything I do needs to be about me, and that not everything other people do that conflict with my ideas are attacks. I have some major trances going on, and I want to use this event to snap out of it. Oh...look...I'm using the event to take care of myself! It is about me! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Well, maybe that's the first trance to go. Adam
The more people I invite, the more nervous I get! But that just goes to show you. I have a hidden agenda, don't I? Deep down, I want this to be THE ALBUM. That's stupid. It's not about me. It's about us. I was thinking, "What if this generates some real success for me, really fast? What if my life changes, and suddenly I don't have a chance for normal friends or privacy?" Then I thought, "I'm going to attract to myself the kind of people who can fulfill my dream. If my dream is good, and it's about the event, that's the kind of success I'll have. If my dream is selfish, and it's all about me, that's the kind of success I'll have." I really don't want it to be about me. I really do want it to be an incredible experience for everyone, and the album is just a nice record of it. But my insecurity, my greed for personal power, my sadness, anger, fear, they're all getting in the way of my purer motivations. It's hard work remembering what's important! Adam

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