I always fucking hated reporters notebooks. You know, the ones that flip vertically? They’re about the size of a hamburger and feel awkward in your hands? Yeah. Hate those. My mom was the School Supply Lady, though, and for whatever reason I always had 19 of those suckers laying around. One in every color.
One of the great summer traditions of my childhood was driving three hours, several weekends per month, through rural Missouri to the Lake of the Ozarks. My family had a
cabin double-wide that had running water and stolen cable on an ancient TV and beds. It wasn’t the Hilton, but it had enough nostalgia to make me high on the memories of years spent running from rogue wasps and going into sun-induced comas.
I can almost see the dust hanging in sunshine tractor beams pouring in through slats in the windows as I type this.
One trip, armed with a bitchin’ new navy blue Sony Walkman, I settled into my bucket seat for the [what felt like] long journey with one of those stupid little journals and a stack of Backstreet Boys and N*Sync CDs. And I wrote.
Someone, a writer, once told me they’d never used music in their writing. What they meant was that they’d never listened to music- themed music, preferably- as a motivational tool whilst writing. I was shocked. I was flabbergasted.
No music while writing? As in, complete and total silence? Whoa.
I honestly can’t imagine being a writer without music. Music has always moved me to words. Even writing this, I’ve got my earbuds in and something is blasting as loud as I can stand it. Those hearing loss warnings are definitely meant for my type. I like to feel the base rattling in my brain. It’s like a morphine drip for my soul.
On that trip, the one with the reporters notebook and Sony Walkman, I wrote story ideas to match each song. Each page was a different song. If I’m remembering correctly, each page was set up a little like this:
#1- [Song Title], [Album/ Artist]
A boy falls in love with a girl while on vacation. The girl’s parents hate the boy, though, because he’s older and really cute and they are over-protective jerks.
Think about boy bands for a moment and you get a pretty good idea of my inspiration. Of course, as a tween, those were the stories that spoke to me, then. The stories never got written, not really. But I was purging myself of the sickening/sweet pressure, urge, and pull to write my feelings.
I still do this. I still pull ideas and characters and words from songs and incorporate them into my fiction. My notebooks are better, now, and my ideas hold a little more weight, but the sentiment is still there. The point of it all has never changed.
Music still moves me so deeply that it knocks loose the ideas that are caked into my arteries and packed away in the depths of my mind. For some, it’s nature. For others it’s complete fucking silence, I guess. Or maybe they just don’t understand the importance of melody and harmony and baselines and guitar riffs and vocals all coming together to tell their own kind of story. Maybe they don’t know music can feed their own stories.
Or maybe they’re geniuses and don’t need music. I, for one, will take the melody with my words.
(ಠ_ಠ) Sarah and the Wordwraiths.