Going out on a limb here
The risk of failure isn’t just a consequence of creating something, it’s a necessary component of it. Without the risk of falling flat on your face you’ll never make anything halfway valuable or interesting. It is to be welcomed with the best biscuits.
You need a space you can fail in, spectacularly, safely, intentionally. It’s how you get to the good stuff.
I’ve done it in private for years. I’m wondering, can I do the same here?
In other words, do you only want good1 things in this newsletter? Finished, shiny, I’m Jake Morley and I Endorse This Message things? Or might you also be open to raw, unfinished-but-interesting things? There’s no wrong answer as such.
As a test, here’s a recording of me trying to write a song.
In a bit of a funk one day, I picked up a guitar, hit record on a voice note and started singing the first things that came into my head - a self-righteous, repetitive stream of consciousness about my mood and the music industry. I can't find anything to rhyme with 'return'2. Particular indignation seems to have been reserved for singer-songwriters who wear hats3. It does eventually develop a kind of mad magic, but ultimately is just another of many lost ideas.
Take a listen:
… 7 min 40 of your life wasted?!
It may not be my best work, but there’s something about hearing an idea unfold that holds my attention. Every line is the first time that line has been sung. I can hear my brain laying the track as it hurtles along. You don’t always get that from studio recordings where you’re actually hearing the 100th performance.
To me, writing isn’t just about coming up with a great final product. It’s about meeting who you are today in all their ugly glory, giving them the space to speak. People may never even hear what you write today, let alone enjoy it. That doesn’t mean it’s failed or has no value. Truly creative acts are (I believe) inherently valuable.
Ideas are like Fantastic Mr Fox, peeking a nose out of the hole, sniffing the air. If it smells clear and welcoming, they tiptoe carefully out. If it smells of rancid goose livers and cider and shotgun cartridges4 then it’s back down the hole sharpish and you probably won’t see them again for a while.
Is this space safe enough to fail in?
It’s fine if not. Your time is valuable. I can stick to failing in private and posting only the good, pretty, finished things here.
Or maybe I just add a warning notice for interesting unfinished things? Then you can decide for yourself, read or skip.
What do you think?
Thursday 23rd February 2023 - London Green Note. *SOLD OUT*
Wednesday 29th March 2023 - Windermere Old Laundry Theatre. Tickets.
Thursday 30th March 2023 - Manchester The Castle. Tickets.
Saturday 1st April 2023 - Isle of Bute Butesong Festival. Tickets.
Sunday 2nd April 2023 - Nottingham, Running Horse. Tickets.
Wednesday 19th April 2023 - Suffolk Riverside Theatre. Tickets.
Thursday 20th April 2023 - Cambridge Tall Trees. Refunds.
Sunday 23rd April 2023 - Winchester Railway Inn. Tickets.
Friday 28th April 2023 - Leamington Spa Temperance. Tickets.
Sunday 21st May 2023 - Bristol Louisiana. Tickets.
Friday 22nd September 2023 - Lintrathen Lodge at Lochside Wee Bear Cafe. Tickets.
Saturday 23rd September 2023 - Dundee Masonic Hall. Tickets.
Saturday 7th October 2023 - Purley On Thames St Mary’s Church. Tickets.
View all confirmed dates on a map here: https://share.jakemorley.com/livemap
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Obviously very subjective, am not saying everything I’ve ever sent you is good.
Sorry James Bay, I was thinking of you here. Apologies to all hat-wearing artist friends who read this, I love you.
You can substitute excessive judgement, fear and distractions for these. Also I like the smell of cider, was just trying to reference the book.