I know. I'm lazy. But I made myself a New Years resolution that I would write myself something really special. Which means I have 'til December right?
I put the copy of 'A Christmas Carol' that my grandfather had first read to me 60 years ago on my desk and I began to write. The result for better or for worse is the 'Christmas Spirits.' I plan to read it to my grandson.
It felt very natural to me to write a Christmas song but at the same time I had to really put all sorts of pressure aside and just let the creativity flow and see what came out.
First of all I've been having a wonderful run of luck with cover albums songs I didn't write. I had five pop cover albums and two Christmas albums and they were all very successful.
And of course there's so much music in and around our family. I had a piano during Christmas because it's obviously useful through the season. There are so many people songwriters who are around.
I have learned not to read reviews. Period. And I hate reviewers. All of them or at least all but two or three. Life is much simpler ignoring reviews and the nasty people who write them. Critics should find meaningful work.
I learned that the only way you are going to get anywhere in life is to work hard at it. Whether you're a musician a writer an athlete or a businessman there is no getting around it. If you do you'll win - if you don't you won't.
The thing about the 600 words I mean some day you can do a very very very hard day's work and not write a word just revising or you would scribble a few words.
The difference between people who believe they have books inside of them and those who actually write books is sheer cussed persistence - the ability to make yourself work at your craft every day - the belief even in the face of obstacles that you've got something worth saying.
I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind - and to work some of those contradictions out for myself.
I have to work really hard eight shows a week to get a nice check as an actor. But when I write a play and it's a - knock wood - hit the checks come in for many years.
Every reader finds himself. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what without this book he would perhaps never have seen in himself.
But I work harder now because I have so much more exposure. And actually the harder you work as a writer the better you get at it. It's like anything else. It's a muscle you have to exercise. I write more now than ever.
I'm so disturbed when my women students behave as though they can only read women or black students behave as though they can only read blacks or white students behave as though they can only identify with a white writer.
Then I read Little Women and of course like a lot of really young girls I was very taken with Jo - Jo being the writer and the misfit.
Men like women who write. Even though they don't say so. A writer is a foreign country.
I am a writer who happens to love women. I am not a lesbian who happens to write.
Comedy can be especially in a writer's room really aggressive kind of a very male-dominated room and it would be hard for women. It's not a nurturing place. It's not like a lot of women are going to say I can't wait to live that lifestyle and be in a writer's room until 2 or 3 a.m.
I've been trying to find women writers for my staff for a while now and I have three women on my staff and three guys so it's pretty equal. I don't know why that is. It's been the same thing for a while. It's hard for female comedians to stand out. That's weird. That's a shame.
I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.
One reason the human race has such a low opinion of itself is that it gets so much of its wisdom from writers.
Writing is no dying art form in America because most published writers here accept the wisdom and the necessity of encouraging the talent that follows in their footsteps.
But I do think it's important to remember that writers do not have a monopoly of wisdom on their books. They can be wrong about their own books they can often learn about their own books.
I probably wouldn't be a songwriter if I didn't grow up the way I did. It was difficult and it was at times very scary to grow up in a household so unsettled and at times very violent. But it also I guess it earned me a sort of wisdom at a young age that's served me well.