Revisiting My Life in Music: Keys to Becoming a Music Writer

SKF NOTE: Thinking back. This is a list of qualities/skills I think helped or were essential in becoming a music writer. More important, these qualities/skills will serve well anyone wanting to be a music writier. This list will also help me flesh out my music writing years in future blog posts.

My first professional typewriter. Photo taken in 2014.

My first professional typewriter. Photo taken in 2014.

Listen. Listen. Listen.

A love of music,  drumming, writing, reading, researching, history.

Learning how to type, how to write a business letter, how to speak well on the telephone, how to conduct interviews in-person and by phone.

Fact checking. Patience. Accuracy.

Keep company with people who are doing what you want to do; with people who will encourage you, but also be straight with you.

Avoid negative people: chronic pessimists.

Music is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. So is creative writing.

Not being afraid to ask questions. Not being afraid to say, “I don’t understand,” or “I don’t know.”

Listen. Listen. Listen. Remember: the story/interview is about them, not me.

Learning how to transcribe interviews recorded with audiocassettes, and later, with digital recorders.

Letting the interviewees fact check stories and interviews before publication.

Learn how to take photos. Knowing when to leave photo shoots in the hands of professional photographers.

Study by reading, listening, and sometimes by playing, all different styles of music, and all different types of instruments.

Some of my best insights into drumming came from musicans other than drummers, and sometimes from non-musicians.

Be reliable. Be honest.

Learn how to put fear in a box, and how to overcome fear.

Listen. Listen. Listen.

To be continued….

About Scott K Fish
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