When Randy Lewis sat down
with Tom Petty after his tour wrapped in LA, he didn’t know it would be the artist’s last interview ever. But in a way, it was a fitting one:
Petty always had a purpose, and a man like that, a man with a purpose, should have had more time — weeks, months, years— to practice what he called fishing and others call songwriting.
“It’s kind of a lonely work,” he said, “because you just have to keep your pole in the water. I always had a little routine of going into whatever room I was using at the time to write in, and just staying in there till I felt like I got a bite.
“I compare it to fishing: There’s either a fish in the boat or there’s not,” he said with a laugh. “Sometimes you come home and you didn’t catch anything and sometimes you caught a huge fish. But that was the work part of it to me. … I just remember being excited when I had a song done, and I knew I had a song in my pocket, I always felt really excited about it.”
Love that analogy. And I’ve actually been thinking about something similar recently in relation to writing (blog posts, not music). I’ve found over the years that if you simply sit and force yourself to think for long enough, you’ll usually come up with something compelling. The problem is:
1) setting aside this time
2) having the patience to wait
You know, like fishing… 🎣