March 10

The Reason You Create Matters

Now, this is my job, I will not quit it; pulled me out the depths when I thought that I was finished.

car-radioI’ve had very little sleep. I just drove six hours from North Carolina back to Tennessee. I listened to the radio the entire way back because I blew out my engine on the way up, had a rental car and ALL MY ROADTRIP CDs GOT LEFT IN MY OTHER CAR. So I scanned stations the whole way, looking for that song to make me feel okay. The thing is, my best friend died a month ago and it feels like he died three minutes ago and three years ago all at the same time. But there are three things that make me feel almost okay again in light of everything: my other friends, writing and listening to music.

You know why I listen to music? It’s not to listen and fangirl over famous people. It’s not to think about how great artists are or how much I want to be like them. I listen to music to be healed. To laugh. To cry. To dance. To remember what it is to be alive. To listen to the lives of others.

And I think at the heart of good musicians, this is equally true in terms of why they create music. Those who create music just to be famous, typically make crap music. They create trends and overdone rhythms.  Their voices are synthesized and overworked. There’s no heart. There’s no purpose. Turn it off.

But artists who create music from a personal place, from a place of trying to understand the world and people and relationships; those artists create a connection. They create art.

And I think that’s why you should write. At least, that’s the reason that I think I should write. I write because I love it. I love creating stories. The good, the bad, the ugly.

But I don’t want to write stories just to be published, just to see my name on a cover. I mean, that’d be pretty cool, but that’s not the point. The point is to create stories about characters who could be flesh and blood. To explore their relationships and their lives. And maybe in that process of putting word after word, I could find in my writing a kind of healing, a kind of life. And maybe someday I’ll get so good at putting word after word, that a reader, a stranger, would find healing and life in my work too.

Keep writing. Keep fighting for that perfect plot, that perfect character. Because when you find the perfect rhythm, the perfect melody in your work, everything becomes alive again.

Humbled by the road, I’m realizing I’m not important. See life’s a beautiful struggle, I record it; hope it helps you maneuvering through yours