The Bobby Rock Newsletter #41 (1-13-2022) - "Collecting Your Thoughts"
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #41 (1-13-2022) - "Collecting Your Thoughts"
Welcome back, everybody -
Thanks again for joining me today. Stoked to share a few of my favorite things with you guys: drumming on the “big kit,” the curation of one’s “bright ideas,” and more blacklight goodness. Let’s go!
In This Issue:
- "Poetry in Motion:" What does a popular quote from the Sufi mystic Rumi sound like as a thematic drum pattern? Now we know…
- Don’t let that genius idea get away! Here’s to the simple art of “Collecting Your Thoughts.”
- In Case You Missed It: More Black(light) magic here, in an updated article you might enjoy
This Monday! Jammin' at the RokIsland Festival in Key West with Lita Ford
(with Jack Russell’s Great White, Jackyl, Vixen, Bang Tango)
pic by Shovelhead Studios
"Poetry in Motion”
Alphabet Drumming™ a famous quote from Rumi
In this week’s trip to the Drum Vid Vault, we “drype” (drumming + typing) some words of the legendary Sufi poet, Rumi. This simple two-bar phrase is part of a larger solo piece I’ve been working on, but I think it’s fascinating how Rumi's words transpose into drumming that sounds so… well… poetic! Scope it HERE:
For more on the revered 13th-century poet and philosopher Rumi, check out Newsletter #23 HERE:
Collecting Your Thoughts
Caught an article in Newsweek not long ago that referenced a recent study from Canada. It turns out the average human has around 6200 thoughts per day. That’s a lot… considering the life-changing firepower of a single thought, be it a lone revelation, epiphany, or game-changing idea. But even if a single thought has the power to positively affect your life or someone else’s—which we know many can—isn’t it worth having some kind of system in place to collect them?
I say yes. And this practice of keeping an active inventory of various thoughts and ideas through the years has been invaluable to me on so many levels. Here are a few details on what I simply refer to as “Collecting Your Thoughts.” I’ll start with how it relates to the creative process of writing, then talk about other applications for it.
As a writer, you learn pretty quick that words don’t magically appear on the page until you actually put your ass in the seat and commence to typing. I’ve always referred to this as “getting the black on the white.” That said, the detailed curation of your thoughts happen, in part, when you are away from the desk. As you go about your day after a writing session, the brain continues to work, allowing legitimate, cohesive thoughts to bubble up as you go about your business… even as much of our daily business could be routine.
As a result—through the years—I've noticed many of my most critical ideas, revelations, creative impulses, and themes or concepts for stuff have popped into my head away from the desk; at the gym, in the car, on a run, or stepping out of the shower. However, these are not the most favorable times to reach for the laptop and start writing.
In the alternative, I began using a system of documenting this ever-expanding archive of thoughts, ideas, and philosophical rants into various voice memo devices. The general practice began with a Sony Walkman cassette recorder back in the 90s. But I really started going apeshit with the volume and true curation of digital voice memos in the early 2000s, beginning with a Blackberry-type device (the name of it escapes me), which led to a couple different Olympic brand recorders… which gave way to a series of iPhones and their infamous Voice Memo app, which I still use to this very day. These memos range in length from 30 seconds on up to 19 or twenty minutes, with the average length probably falling in the three to five-minute range.
The upside? I have, quite literally, thousands of these individual memos.
The downside? I have, quite literally, thousands of these individual memos!
These 1200+ memos are just the ones I haven't labeled and archived yet!
So now, I try to schedule in a bit of time every day, here and there, to label, archive and, when I have some extra time, loosely transcribe these memos. It’s quite a project. (And yes, when memos are relative to things I’m currently working on, I access them immediately and even delete them after the fact.)
Of course, this system of collecting your thoughts extends well beyond the practice of writing. Here are some other ideas:
- Pretty much any worthwhile thought that hits you, from a possible solution to a dilemma at home or work, to a gift idea, to a personal philosophical rant (which is always interesting to listen back to from time to time to see if it all still resonates), can all be documented on the fly.
- For songwriters, humming a melody or riff into your voice memo app ensures that you’ll be able to call it up later with instrument in hand.
- Interested in researching or learning about something that catches your attention out “in the field?" Leave yourself a reminder about it.
- On the practical side, you can quickly record a reminder about a needed grocery store item, a return call you’ve been meaning to make, or anything else that might have slipped through the cracks lately… at the moment you are reminded of it.
- If you need to go into detail about something with someone, but you are in the car and/or unable to sit down and write a lengthy email, you can always record a long-form voice memo and email or text the file—as an alternative to a long-ass voice mail message. I’ve been resorting to this idea more often lately, when the prospects of a more detailed email seem improbable.
Which leads us to...
A few final thoughts:
1. Rule #1: You must document your thought immediately! Do not “wait till later.” It will be gone. Forever. And this is why I got into audio memos many years back. I could just pick up my device and start talking. Boom. Thought captured.
2. Label and title the memos regularly, so you don’t wind up with a bunch of "New Recording 1200" type of memos (like my monkey ass!).
3. Create a system for categorizing and organizing your memos so they are archived properly for easy accessibility.
4. Use a Notes program (like Evernote, my personal fave) to archive either transcriptions or (more realistically) encapsulations of your memos. Remember, the voice memos are ultimately just temporary storage for the idea… but the idea may often need to wind up in written form.
5. When time and logistics allow, save a big step and bypass the voice memo process: Go directly to your Notes program and capture the thought there, either by typing the idea directly into a note, or by using the voice dictation feature and “speak-writing” the idea. This takes a bit more effort, but again…. your ideas will more than likely have to wind up in written form anyway.
One of the other benefits of having such a system in place is that it encourages the practice of documenting and archiving your thoughts. It creates a natural space, it seems, for thoughts to bubble up freely. And any time we can encourage our big, bad, brain to do its magic, that’s a good thing!
Let's Get Triggered... Some More!
Here’s an updated version of an earlier Newsletter article we just posted on social this week. It’s all about the benefits of “Environmental Triggers,” featuring one of my faves: old-school blacklight posters. We've added even more 70’s-trippin' goodness! Scope it HERE.
Thanks again, everybody. Connect next week!
For Your Quick Reference:
My main website at www.bobbyrock.com is constantly updated with cool new stuff. Be sure and take a moment to sign up in the upper right-hand corner of any page on the site. It only takes a minute. This will give you a much more customized experience, and also grant you access to various members-only areas, events, etc.
Tour Dates: If you are signed up to the site, you will receive an automatic email notification any time I'm playing within 150 miles of your crib.
Newsletter Archives: Scope all the back issues here. There is even a Table of Contents reference so you grab an "at-a-glance" view of what's in each issue.
News Feed: Stay in touch! Think of this as Facebook and Instagram rolled into one location, plus extra posts exclusive to the site.
The Bobby Rock Store: Books, Music, BR drumsticks (stage-played and brand new), T-shirts, Signed 8x10s, Dragon Dirt and more...
Dragon Dirt: My brand new custom superfood powder. Scope the site for tons of info!