Mick Jagger and Keith Richards may not have been thinking about the writing process when they wrote “Satisfaction,” but in many ways they summed up what the writing process has been for me lately. As I continue writing my book, I can’t help but think of The Rolling Stones singing:
“I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no”
They, of course, were referring to a different kind of frustration, but the parallels to the agony of the writing process are all I can think about currently. Indeed, I can “get no satisfaction” when it comes to writing my book. The problem that I have is that my brain never stops polishing the story. One day I’ll write what I think are perfectly good pages. Then, inevitably, the next day a new idea will pop into my head. As a result, I’ll have to go back and change my outline and the story. Every once in awhile, I have to throw out perfectly good pieces of writing because they no longer fit into the grand scheme. I suppose that is what the writing process is all about: polishing everything until “you get what you need.” OK, I couldn’t help but add in another Rolling Stones reference. In the long run, I know that all of the agony is for the best. Sometimes, though, I wish my brain would take a break and stop trying to fix things that I didn’t even realize were problems. Of course, if my brain did that I probably wouldn’t be a writer. I’ll just have to live with the nervous breakdowns for now (I had to add in another reference for good measure)…. Enjoy the “Satisfaction” video below:
16 thoughts on “Musical Influence No. 4: “Satisfaction””
The creative process is pretty much agony…
Back in the day, all my friends were Beatles fans but when I heard “Satisfaction” I was hooked….
You are right about the agony part. Thanks for the comment.
Repeat after me: “But it’s all right now,
in fact, it’s a gas!
But it’s all right, I’m jumpin jack flash!”
And keep singing the above, until the computer keyboard starts singing back. 🙂
I like your problem solving strategy. I think I’ll give it a try….
Creation and destruction seem to go hand in hand, of course when you get to the end it’ll all be forgotten because that is the way our minds work.
Very true. I suppose it is time for me to stop moving like a slug, and speed up the process. The sooner I get to the end, the better. Speaking of which, I just threw out some pages about a slug. Don’t ask….
You aim to perfect your craft, and that’s always satisfying. Cheers !
I do my best. Thanks for the comment.
Cody – you are birthin’ a baby!
I only wish my hips were wider…. 🙂
You know the story of the writing of “Satisfaction”?
Keith woke up and picked up his guitar turned on the cassette recorder and played a bit. The next day he put the cassette in his pocket and went about his business – without listening to it. A few days after that he was about to throw the jeans into the washer – but felt the cassette – pulled it out and put it on to see what was there… da da DADADA da da DA…
Keith also has said that he’s never really written anything – he just gets out of the way and lets it happen…
So – I’ll close with a question… if you see a red door, do YOU want to paint it black?
Thank you for sharing the story behind the song. I had no idea. Excellent comment. To answer your question, I believe I would have mixed emotions about painting the door. When I see the girls walk by in their summer clothes, though, I may have to turn my head….
Ahh – I fact checked and got the story a little wrong – or chris Sandford in his Bio did… not sure which… here’s the story minus the “washing” and well worth a read…
Personally, I like red doors…
I’m sure the question on everyone’s lips is… ” if a six turned out to be nine – would you mind?”
I’m pretty sure I would – but not very much. I can think of some occasions when the missing three might well be an issue though…
Thank you for the link Phillip. I checked it out, and it was a good read. I lived in Florida for a year, and I used to go to Clearwater often. I never knew that “Satisfaction” was written in a hotel room there. I like red doors too, but “Paint it Black” is a great song. Thanks again for all the great info.
Re-writing is important but care needs to be taken, especially with novels. Usually I think just about all cutting is good, but one can get carried away and sometimes lose a certain freshness. It’s difficult. k.
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