So. I’ve been trying for a few weeks now, to start a sort of collaborative group with some friends of mine. We want to write parodies, and then maybe comic songs that are not parodies, and then, maybe, one day, actual songs. Which is, I think, the least likely of the aforementioned events–but who knows? There are services that will notate your rubbish, half-baked melody and semi-unique, half-decent lyrics, if you cannot write music yourself. We’ve maybe got a chance.
The trouble is, every time I sit down to write a thing with someone, it never seems to pan out. So far, the following has happened several times: someone else gives me a line, I either take it as is or reword it slightly, I go away, and I come back an hour later with a really cute, fully-formed parody (one of which made it onto Facebook, and everyone loved it and praised me accordingly). All of which is great; none of which is collaboration, in the truest sense of the word.
When the Monty Python guys were writing, there was always one left out (I don’t recall which one). But basically, there were 2 pairings who wrote together a lot, and the 5th one was forever banging the, “Why will no one write with me?” drum, all the while churning out comparable stuff to the rest of the guys… but alone. I remember hearing that when I was a teenager, and thinking how sad, how lonely, that seemed. (At that point, I had a parody buddy–and we were shit-hot. 2-3 parodies a week, every week, about half written separately, and about half together. That was the life.)
But now… somehow I can’t seem to find another parody buddy. I’ve gone from being the girl *everyone* could write with (truly, I could work with anyone) to being someone who can write with maybe one of the others in our little group. Don’t get me wrong, my work is still solid–you set me a task, you can bank on something so good you’ll wish you’d written it yourself–and I’m fairly prolific, but… what’s happened to the collaborative aspect of all this? Am I out of practice? Am I just too old, now? Has my brain lost enough plasticity that I can no longer mould myself to the cadences and quirks of another?
Is it simply that I grew up in the States, and all my friends now are British, and we lack the shared history for in-jokes that are universally relatable, and the context to frame them in?
Whatever the reason, it’s a sorry state of affairs when being in a group only makes me feel more alone.
Oh, wait. That’s just life as I know it.