I really enjoyed reading Neil Young’s autobiography. It is felt throughout the book that this was not written by a ghost writer like most rock star biographies are.
Young has amassed a large body of work throughout the years and by reading “Waging Heavy Peace” I’ve picked up few tips from the prolific musician about finding a writing muse.
Let the muse come in
Just keep playing and let the muse back into the fold. Gently now. No searching. No working. No trying. Just let the spirit come back in and don’t be greedy.
Be ready when an idea comes to your head
I don’t stop for anything. I just carried a pad with me and would write whenever something came to mind. I never had to try to write. I learned to be ready to write when an ideas came into my head, whether it was in school or wherever. I learned to drop everything else and pay attention to the song I was hearing. The more I did that, the more songs I heard.
Just write every day and you’ll be surprised what comes out.
Keep the ears and eyes open
I just do what I do and keep my ears and eyes open. Things are happening all the time. You put it out there and shit happens.
Don’t think too much
With rock’n’roll, the more you think, the more you stink.
Having no knowledge is sometimes exactly what is needed to find a solution.
Work with people who get things done
I work well with people who want to get things done.
Honesty, constructive criticism: those things are priceless in this game.
Take personal time for reflection
Walking has always been good to me. I love to walk. Long walks on the ranch or over the lava in Hawaii are therapeutic and result in a clear head. I open up and start thinking about all kinds of ideas about music, life, my family, all matters personal. I take all of this to heart in my personal time of reflection.
Money doesn’t matter
Unlike me, they have mastered the art of monetizing their ideas. I have big ideas and very little money to show for them. I’m not complaining though. It’s not the money that matters; it’s doing things right and efficiently that is my goal. I just want to succeed at this badly.
These days it’s all about closure of this and that for me. I have too many things to finish. How can I move on until I clean the slate?
Don’t try too hard
Life is just a big test and if you try hard, you fail. If you don’t try too hard and fail a little but have a good time, maybe that is success.
So what do I do now that I’m 65? Retire? Nope. I can’t stop moving long enough to do that.
Not every dream can come true
I accept that I cannot have every dream come true at once. Life is too short for that.
Enjoy the writing
I do enjoy writing and I hope someone gets something interesting out of this book. I already have. Now if I ever have to write a book that is not about me, I may be totally stumped and have writer’s block. We will see. Writing is very convenient, has a low expense, and is a great way to pass the time. I highly recommend it to any old rocker who is out of cash and doesn’t know what to do next.