Anything for a Weird Life

Reflections on Series Two: How Does He Do It?

Welp, one more column to go after this one.

I have been spitting these things out with regularity from around Labor Day to now.

How do I do it?

I honestly don’t entirely know or understand, but I have some theories.

See a Need and Fill It

I look for jobs to do and get to doing them. The decimation of music journalism both national and local has been a painful thing for me. Writing is something I have been able to do for some time. When the need is there, you have my pen.

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

When there was a local press covering the underground I roamed around in, I prided myself on being a gadfly, thinking I was encouraging them to do better via my letters and diatribes and other writings aimed in their direction. In an earlier version of myself, I would readily lash out with satire, dripping with venom, intent to harm. My short stories were not only rejected by the Baltimore City Paper but were responded to, mentioning me by name, a loser, in their column congratulating the winners. Yes, I lost, but I clearly still got in some hits that hurt.

With time, age, and wisdom, I adopted a new way: when given the opportunity, do the journalism you want to see done. Keep things positive. Use your platform to praise, not to scorn. Why destroy when you can build? I had to learn that over time, but I am glad I have grown and changed. I still do battle, but never against my own community.

But I still get a small kick out of each column I publish and write in that I am doing what I want the way I want and I did not have to pay dues or work my way up any ladder to do it. You can’t be a gatekeeper if there is no longer a gate.

Always Forward

Each week of this column is part of a song I am making up as I go along. In conversation, Suzanne Doogan noted that, while I do publish each week like clockwork, I resist repeating myself. I certainly could do that, writing in a safer way, and there are some models out there I enjoy. But I don’t think it would be as interesting for me and the quality of the writing would suffer.

I seem to operate best as a speedboat, zipping along, leaving the waves I create in my wake behind as I move on to the next thing. frameworks and forms tried on and discarded.

Writers are Noticers and Absorbers

Yes, I am mostly sitting there reading a book at that show, probably. I am not so great at quick conversations in venues with loud PA systems. But I am still taking it all in. If you don’t do something with all of that noticing and absorbing it can really mess you up. Some wind up dulling the sensitivity they have with drugs and alcohol. I don’t. I choose to take it all in and give it back here, a week at a time, September to May.

See you next week for the Series Two finale! It has been a pleasure to make this run a second time. Thanks for reading.

Tim Kabara

IG: @kim_tabara

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