Two small children tried to rob me today. It wasn’t nearly as sinister as it sounds.

Both times it was a 3 year old whose parent had just given them some money to put in my case, who had then eyed up their possible bounty and had a cheeky scoop.

If there were a way of calculating it, and there isn’t, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it was the 3 year olds who were my most generous patrons. I suppose these kids knew that, and they wanted to take a slice back to, restore some kind of equilibrium.

But I wasn’t in the mood for it. I just said “no” and glared at them through my glasses. They got it.

It was a slog today, but sometimes it is. And sometimes it’s heaven. If you want the rainbows, you’ve got to put up with the rain. (And people say she’s just a pair of tits…)

Seriously, to paraphrase Steven Pressfield, artists need to learn to be miserable. Not because life is terrible, but because if you can’t be miserable now and then and keep on trucking, you’ll never do anything.

Then I spent a really nice afternoon at Bank Street Arts, writing fragments of music, chord progressions, melodies. Building blocks that could eventually become songs.

Here’s what I do:

I play guitar until I play something that tickles my ears a little. I write the bare bones of the idea on a 3×5 notecard, date it, and file it away. Then I write the idea as notation so that I won’t forget the melody and the rhythms — it happens all the time.

Now I have two versions of the same idea, cross-referenced, and I can either play around with it some more, pluck its eyebrows, that kind of thing, or I can come up with the next one.

It was foolish of me, a few days ago, to dive in and try to write songs straight off the bat. I was acting like a sprinter. A sprinter has just 100m to prove everything he’s got — he’d better run his ass off. But an album is not a 100m dash. It’s a marathon. It’s not infinite, but you’ve got a hell of a lot longer to work things out.

So now my plan (and I have permission from myself to deviate from it at any time) is to spend the next few weeks assembling building blocks.

And to get even with those little kids.