The Perks of Being a…Singer?

Shortly after the release of our song “Sanctuary,” I started getting letters on tour. 1 page, 3 page, 10 page, anonymous, pencil, pen, in color, in crayon…lots and lots of letters. The more people listening, the more letters, now I get about 10-15 every time we play a show.

It took me a while to understand why people would write letters to a person that they have, in most circumstances, never met, or only met in a very limited context. Even harder to understand was people continuing to write letters even after, at most, I could send a 140 character Twitter response.

Don’t read that wrong – I like reading people’s stories, I’m honored by their willingness to share with me, and I do try my hardest to reply to as many as possible.  But I didn’t fully understand why they would choose to write to me, given my….constraints.

I hate being that guy who has to publicly post every time I do something scholarly or motivated, like read a book or go to the gym (I never post about it when I go to the gym) (oops – just told you that I go to the gym?) (I don’t), but I did recently cave to the overwhelming teenage majority and read “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” As I should have expected, it was fantastic. It felt to me like a new-age Catcher in the Rye, I was of course enamored by how unfiltered and objective Charlie’s world was, and it opened my eyes to a lot of assumptions that I make about people and things and the way they’re “supposed” to be.

Most importantly, three pages into the book, I started to understand why I get letters, and why someone would write to a listener that they barely know.

The only qualifying trait for the person that Charlie wrote his letters to was that he didn’t sleep with a girl at a party when he could have. My only qualifying trait is that I wrote and sang a few songs. But I think to understand and appreciate a person’s art is to understand and appreciate their values, which is as much as to say, I think the people who get our music, get me.

Charlie felt he could invest himself into a complete stranger because it was a person who saw the world the same way he did. I hope people can say the same about me.  And as much as anyone, I understand the therapeutic value of writing. And I know just how important it is to have your story heard. And understood. And appreciated.

So write on, wallflowers and socialites. I like hearing your stories. While I may not always be able to respond, I’ll read until my eyes fall out. And I think that’s the important part.

- sstm.

  1. perpetuallywasted reblogged this from paradisefears and added:
    I found this and now i feel a lot better about the fourteen discarded letters lying all around my room, kinda cried from...
  2. pandapunkiepaws reblogged this from paradisefears
  3. malorieeeeeee reblogged this from paradisefears
  4. miloveessulove-sameheartsamelove reblogged this from paradisefears
  5. singmetosleepgaskarth reblogged this from paradisefears
  6. markmewithwords reblogged this from paradisefears
  7. incandescent1y reblogged this from paradisefears
  8. whatshewishedfor reblogged this from paradisefears
  9. justkeepdreaminng reblogged this from paradisefears
  10. pierce-thewhale reblogged this from paradisefears
  11. havefaithinme1321 reblogged this from paradisefears
  12. solitary-animosity reblogged this from paradisefears