I saw PJ Harvey perform at Bestival a couple of weekends ago. I’m a big fan of her music, and it was such a privelige to watch and listen to her sing her favourite songs solo as she played various instruments to accompany herself.
She gave herself utterly to the performance. Her voice was exquisite, but she played the songs with her whole body. It was more like channeling. You could see the joy and the pain around her like a halo.
It reminded me of the classical musicians that used to come into school when I was 8 or 9 to play their instruments for us. They’d blow on their trumpet, or strum their harp, and I’d watch their faces. They made funny expressions, squinching up their cheeks or their shoulders or shutting their eyes. They were ecstatic. They entered the music.
It felt like I ought to laugh at these musicians, because they looked so silly, but somehow I didn’t want to. I was transfixed. Maybe this is how it always is, when we enter into something entirely. We look like an idiot, but we are also at our most beautiful. Just like these dancers in Fatboy Slim’s Praise You, one of my favourite music videos.
It’s so difficult to take our attention away from what people might be thinking about us. But when we can…
PS Happy publication day to me, happy publication day to me, happy publication day dear Fiona…. happy publication day to me ; )
I’ve just read this interesting article over at my friend Sage’s blog. Christina Katz suggests that we writers need to be finding an audience for our work – a ‘platform’ – not just in preparation for getting a book deal, but continually throughout our careers as writers.
I’ve always been fascinated by the phenomenology of PR (I’m not sure that’s exactly the right word but I’m pleased to have got it into a sentence). Why do some people sell more books than other people? Is it because they write better books? ; )
I do see it as a part of my ‘job’ as a writer to help my work get out there to the people who might want to read it. I make small continuous efforts in this area – this blog being one of them. But for me the ‘reaching out’ only works if I enjoy it. I love blogging. I’m really looking forward to my blog tour. I’m slightly addicted to Facebook (come and say hello).
There might be different things I could be doing to make a quicker, bigger impression on out there. I don’t mind. I told you, I’m contrary. I’ve written the novels I’ve wanted to write, and I trust that an authentic approach to self-promotion will get me where I want to go, even if we take the scenic route.