Music writing is not easy

I wrote this for a print magazine but it was rejected and I wrote something else for them so figured why not share it here. Writing a column is a funny old thing. In the days when print was the be-all and end-all, being asked to write a column was akin to being given the holy grail. Or at least a map of sorts, a la Da Vinci code. Print space was and continues to be at a premium. And, while I have been fortunate enough to scribble many a column over the years, being asked to write this one has had me at sixes and sevens. The ‘column-writing muscle’ hasn’t been exercised in a minute. After an...

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Finding your daily ritual in work + life

Mason Currey's book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work gives great insight into the routines of a range of artists, writers, musicians, etc. In the introduction, Currey recounts how he came to putting this book together - while working on deadline for an article for an architecture magazine that he worked for. "...I started searching the Internet for information about other writers’ working schedules. These were easy to find, and highly entertaining. It occurred to me that someone should collect these anecdotes in one place—hence the Daily Routines blog I launched that very afternoon...Mason...

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When you feel like an imposter

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: The term 'imposter syndrome' can be traced to a 1978 article by the American psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, "The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention." Originally called imposter phenomenon, imposter syndrome, as it's usually called, is commonly understood as a false and sometimes crippling belief that one's successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill. While initially Clance and Imes looked at it from the perspective of women, it has come to be used to apply to all of...

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The I In Writing

As the cliche goes, I remember the night like it was yesterday. It was the mid-2000s. I was standing outside the Johannesburg City Hall smoking a cigarette with a friend, Zee. I don’t know if he remembers the night but I do, although I don’t quite remember why we were there on a nondescript Joburg night, other than that there was a gala event of sorts to celebrate South Africa’s literati. I also remember that Professor Kgositsile Keorapetse was being named South Africa’s poet laureate. There was a time when I dabbled in the poetry world?—?well, dabbled isn’t quite it but my efforts often...

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Reading To Write

Reading Zadie Smith’s essays on authors like Nabokov and Eliot and Kafka, I am plagued by a question that, as an aspiring writer, I am a bit embarrassed by. And yes, I do call myself an ‘aspiring writer’, not because I haven’t written or I have just started writing, but more because I haven’t written the things that I want to that would enable me, at least in my head, to consider myself an established writer. Like an actual book. Anyway, I distract easily. The question that that bothers me, when it makes its distant presence felt is: do I really want to read the books she references to get...

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How To Be A Magazine Writer

In the last chapter of my life story, I was editor of a South African men’s business and lifestyle magazine. I also had a stint with a lifestyle magazine before that. An occupational hazard related to being an editor is that you receive countless requests to either write for the publication or for mentorship advice. Having left my previous job, I still continue to receive emails, tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn messages, etc. asking me for assistance in getting into the magazine writing world. I must say, as a quick side note, that my biggest gripe in this regard is that very few messages are...

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