Swinging at smoke…

Writing is hard.

It’s a very cyclical thing for me. It moves along in stages. What those stages are, how long they last, and whether or not I recognize them as they’re happening all vary on a case by case basis.

Right now I’m in the JFC everything is crap stage.

It happens.

I’ve spent a lot of time staring at my writing folder—like I do—trying to discern what I should be working on. Truth is, I really don’t know.

Once upon a time I went through and summarized all of my “active” projects. It was a lot more difficult than it should have been. And I’ve been trying to do an updated version of it with the current active list for…a long time. It’s an exercise in brevity and it’s incredibly difficult for someone like me who has a tendency to ramble incessantly, especially when it comes to talking about writing.

I want to write a brief summary of the plot, a few notes on where my brain is at on the given project, and a snippet of text from the actual story. Problem is I could go on for hours about each one when “summarizing” the plot. (I might need to lookup the actual definition of the word summarize, because clearly it doesn’t mean what I think it means.) As for where my brain is at with each one, a lot of it generally comes out as fuck if I know. And when it comes to pulling out a few lines of text…I want to take paragraphs.

And then I have a twenty-thousand word post.

Give or take.

I’ve considered doing an individual post on each one in a series. Then I could ramble all I want. But it’s supposed to be about brevity. And while that’s clearly not one of my strong suits, that’s what I want it to be.

So as it goes with everything in writing, I keep hacking and slashing until it resembles something I’m more or less okay with.

Or I shove it back in the drafts folder and forget about it for awhile.

Fair warning…this whole thing is five-thousand-some-odd words. (The last one I did was 3000+…so…)

So much for that whole brevity thing, I guess.

Hey—it’s fairly brief commentary for each story. But once you pile them all together…

Continue reading “Swinging at smoke…”

Can’t remember all the details…

Writing is a weird beast.

You’d think after two-thirds of my life, I’d learn to just roll with it, but it continually serves to boggle my mind.

I get these elaborate essays built up in my head, but when I sit down to write it out, it’s just an epic disaster of incoherence.

And…I think I just came up with a new tagline for my writing.



I’m writing new things.

And by “new” things, I mean a hodgepodge of existing ideas and characters cobbled together into a plotline that’s been rattling around in my head for a long time, but I never quite knew what to do with it. It has all the proper pieces—a Chance Records artist, a collection of previously used character names, a [different] version of Tyler.

Can I do the story justice? Time will tell. It’s certainly nothing groundbreaking in subject matter, but things are feeling good so far. Which is a welcome relief after so many long months of banging my head against the wall.

We’ll see where it goes.

The Letter…

TL;DR—I’m taking a hiatus from music.

I’ve been told there have apparently been a lot of rumors flying around that I’m in rehab for an addiction problem.

A few weeks ago I was spotted in New York very drunk and then very hungover. Two days later I was spotted at JFK airport and then in Minneapolis. Why else would I be flying to Minneapolis if not to check into the notorious Hazelden rehab clinic? (Never mind they also have a facility in New York.)

I am ashamed to admit it, but the rumors of being drunk and hungover are, in fact, true. I did also fly from New York to Minneapolis that same week, but I didn’t go to check myself into rehab. I flew to Minneapolis because I live there. While I do have a place in New York, my permanent residence is in Minnesota with my wife and son.

Despite the fact that I’ve always worn my wedding ring, it always seems to come as a surprise to people to hear that I’m married. Apparently I don’t give people the impression of family man. I’ve been married for ten years. I’ve been with my wife for fourteen total. We have a twelve-year-old son. I’ve mentioned them before, but they are rarely the center of any conversation relating to my career in music simply to give them a semblance of privacy and normalcy. My wife is not looking for any attention for being my wife and we both want to protect our son best we can from the horrors of a public life.

Over the span of my career, I’ve managed to keep my private life mostly private, and I’ve never been one to publicly air my dirty laundry. But as rumors fly about rehab and addiction, I feel the need to set the record straight. As I said, I’m not checking into rehab. I don’t have an addiction problem. I smoked pot once in college and didn’t like it. I’ve never abused prescription or recreational drugs. I’ve never really been much of a drinker. I know this all started with an episode of heavy drinking and a killer hangover, but it was one significant event in my life that drove me to get shitfaced like I did.

Finding balance between work and home is a challenge for anybody, regardless of circumstances. My situation is not unique. As a musician who travels constantly, it’s easy to just let the road take me where it leads. I have to put in the effort to make time to spend at home with my family, and make sure they have everything they need. Some people find that balance easily. Others, like me, struggle to figure it out. To say I’ve done a lousy job of it would be the understatement of the millennium.

Travelling the country (and sometimes the world) has its perks. Playing shows and getting to visit places I might not otherwise see is a dream job few get to experience. I am grateful every day for this privilege I’ve been afforded in my life. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am, but I haven’t done it alone, and I do my best to give credit where credit is due.

My two biggest supporters (and toughest critics) have always been my wife and son. I owe more to them than anyone else. They are the center of my entire world. I would not be who I am without them. My wife is a brilliant, strong, beautiful woman. She works tirelessly to hold down the fort while I’m on the road, raising our son, and running her own successful business. She loves fiercely, cares deeply, and she does not put up with bullshit from anybody (not even me). My son is nearly a mirror image in personality of his mother—smart, strong, passionate, caring, every adjective a parent could hope for—though he’s also strong willed and stubborn and he likes to argue, which he gets straight from me. I couldn’t be more proud of the person he is growing up to be.

My wife and son are absolutely amazing human beings and I have taken them shamefully for granted. That is the painful, unfortunate truth of this situation. I have neglected my relationship with them for far too long. I have taken their love and support for granted, deluding myself that they will always be there, no matter how much distance I put between us (geographically and emotionally). Over the last few years I have put an ocean of distance between us and created a rift that is not going to be easy to repair.

That is why I’m here now. I have to repair this. It would be easy to throw in the towel and say we’re all better off if it ends, but I know that I would most definitely not be better off. I have to believe that they won’t be either. I’m taking an indefinite hiatus from music to focus on my family, to repair the damage, and heal the pain I’ve caused. It’s not going to be an easy fix. It’s going to take time to rebuild. It’s going to require my entire focus.

I know I’m exposing myself to ridicule and slander by sharing this piece of my private life so publicly. But there are people who are going to concoct their own stories regardless—they’ve been doing it since the beginning—so I might as well put the truth out there for those who are willing to pay attention. There is no sordid affair, no substance abuse, no gambling debt, no domestic violence. There is nothing exciting or scandalous about any of it.

It’s one man’s selfish stupidity finally biting him in the ass.

And because I know the commentary is coming, if this is published on a public forum, my wife and son have read and approved every word written here.

Hiatus is like a four-letter word in this business. It’s often the nail in the coffin for so many careers. I don’t know what it means for my future in music. I don’t plan to be gone forever, but if it comes to that, so be it. Music is vital to my life, but if having a long-lasting career means losing my family because of it—I would chose my family in a heartbeat every single time.

I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. I can’t even guarantee I’ll be back. But until the time comes that I know for sure…

Thank you for listening.

Thank you for your support.

Thank you for everything.

I will [hopefully] see you on the other side.