Words by Veronica Mike Solheim
The process of writing this letter has been pretty much the same as when I started a band at the age of nine; very ambitious, but a fucking mess. We were four girls in that band. We wrote about boys and love, and our vision and mission was to enter a national (and broadcasted) competition. Thank God we weren’t selected. However, I remember how pumped up we got every time we wrote a new song, and how embarrassed and frustrated we became when we listened to it the day after. We sucked. We tried to change ita bit, the drummer became the guitarist, the lead vocalist became the second and so on and so forth. After a while, a few months of rehearsals later, we recorded one of the songs and even made a little music video. I will never forget the look on my mom’s face when she, and all the other parents, came to see our final rehearsal. There was no doubt about it, it was bad.
Surprisingly, none of us became musicians. But the guts and the ambition of becoming big in Japan remain, and therefore also the nasty, but inevitable feeling of—for want of a better word—suckingness.
This is, in fact, at least the fifteenth time that I have started writing this letter. I’ve Googled ‘writer’s block’ and followed every tip. I’ve walked for miles, I’ve written lists, I’ve read and listened and looked at inspiring things. I went to the museum. I even took a day off. Two days ago, I got the brilliant idea of writing aboutwriter’s block, but as I wrote it, I realised that it was the letter from Volume Three. I had officially out-written myself (also an article from a previous issue). Some of the ideas I’ve been through—the curse of laziness, the blessing of supporting friends, the importance of staying open for new work and life lessons. And the last attempt, a little essay on how the amount of choice has become our greatest obsession and obstacle. No shit, Sherlock.
I hate the obviousness. I hate the coach-ish undertone. I hate that I at one point actually wrote: The world is your oyster, so taste it. I hate it all. I even hate all the ideas and suggestions from my friends and colleagues. It wasn’t until I actually said it out loud, that I realised it. No matter how great the idea, I will hate this letter. It’s just one of those cases and there will probably be plenty more in the years to come.
The difference between the nine-year-old me who played in a band and the almost-thirty-year-old creative I am today, is that one of those actually did suck and the other one is just a victim of a feeling. A very normal feeling, that is, and there is nothing I can do about it, but to let it pass. Meaning that this comparison suddenly doesn’t make sense at all anymore. But I refuse to start over again, so I will leave you with this:
Everyone hates their ideas and what they do at times. It’s usually something else bothering them. Hungry, maybe? Tired? About time to get some action? It usually doesn’t mean that you suck. But sometimes, if you’re in a band and your mom says you’re really bad…then you should probably do something else. Or just don’t give a shit and have fun anyway.
Eat a banana and enjoy your summer.
First published in Volume Eleven.