Years ago, Gary Nicholson and I were in his Nashville studio trying to write a song. But really we were talking about writing, how weird and utterly miraculous it is to actually write a song, and the big, bad bear in the room — writer’s block.
In his usual straight ahead way, Gary likened it all to a water tap: “You’ve just got to turn it on everyday,” he said.
Think about it. If you don’t turn a faucet for awhile, when you do try, odds are it’s hard to get it to turn. The water can take awhile to move through the pipes. It might spit air on its way. It can be brown, full of rust. All that mess has to move through the pipes before the cool, clear water makes it out.
But if you turn that same tap on everyday, it all happens much easier. The good water comes out from the start.
Write something, create something everyday. Even if it’s not the best thing you’ve ever done, do it anyway. I think it’s the same for painters, novelists, any art form. The more you do it, the easier it is to find that magical zone where the work takes care of itself, where you’re just the person holding the guitar, the paint brush, the pen.
Turn the tap on everyday.
Well said, Gary.