In the next few weeks, I will be featuring articles written about music and concerts from writers all over the country. From musicians and music bloggers to established writers who share a deep love for music – every Wednesday for the next month you will be treated to a piece by a different writer.
Today, I would like to introduce you to Starr Bryson, a freelance writer and author I met locally at a writing seminar. You can read more about her below the article. I invite you to enjoy her flowery prose about music and its integral part in her creative process.
The creative process, for me, involves a lot of idiosyncrasies. To a non-creative type, watching me prepare for a stint of writing must resemble nothing more than the flights of fancy of an insane woman.
However, as many writers will tell you, we all have our little quirks. Routines that must be followed (to a T) for our creativity to flow, odds and ends that we must have to appease our Muse, a particular way of setting up if we have any hope of making words.
Part of my personal process is writing by hand (most) everything I write. There is something to be said about the feel of the pen in my hand, watching the words come to life, as if by magic, on the paper. Other times, I need to create at the keyboard and delight in the tap, tap, tap of the keys as my fingers struggle to keep up with my thoughts.
I must always have three beverages next to me; a water, a hot tea or coffee, and a soda. For late night writing sessions, the soda is often replaced by a glass of wine. I need copious amounts of pens in different colors and several notebooks and scraps of paper littering every visible surface. The ever present lit cigarette burning away in an ashtray, forgotten, has been replaced in recent years by an electronic-cigarette, but it must be at my fingertips.
The most important thing of all – and my Muse demands it – is music. I must have music to create words. Music plucks the words out of my sub-conscious and brings them to life on the paper in a way that silence never could. I have carefully created play-lists over the years of songs and artists that inspire me. A play list for every genre I write, a type of music for every mood. I have music for professional writing, songs for blogging, artists I listen to when I need to set a sad mood and artists who set a violent mood for fight scenes in my books.
Without music, the world would be a quiet and sad place to live in. I believe this is true for words as well; without the swelling crescendo of a piano I would never create scenes that evoke feelings from my readers. Without the harsh beat of a drum and the sounds of a guitar wailing, I could never invoke the feelings in my characters I need them to have in a particular scene. On a non-creative level, there is a particular type of music that allows my brain to focus and concentrate when I’m writing non-fiction or professionally.
Music speaks to our souls. Music lifts us up, spins us around, and sometimes drops us on our heads. It can make us feel, motivate us, or soothe us to sleep. Music speaks to us on a level that is deeper than conversation, and allows the musicians to speak from their heart and soul in a way the spoken word never could.
It is no surprise that many artists, outside of the music world, need music to create. There are many writers, painters, sculptors, and illustrators who listen to music when they are creating and crafting, sculpting their emotions into words or pictures. The music serves to express their souls in their work.
A simple song can bring to the surface so many emotions for me; it’s literally a visual experience at times. I hear the music, it speaks to my heart, my Muse and my soul, and I’m lifted away into another world where emotions form into ideas, thoughts, and characters that I bring to life with the words I make, inspired by the music.
There are two songs that I always think of when I think about writing. The first, “Open Book” by Cake has lyrics that would make any writer sit up, eyes wide, grin, and say, “This song is about me!”
She’s writing she’s writing she’s writing a novel
She’s writing she’s weaving conceiving a plot
It quickens it thickens you can’t put it down now
It takes you it shakes you it makes you lose your thought
But you’re caught in your own glory
You are believing your own stories
Writing your own headlines
Ignoring your own deadlines
But now you’ve gotta’ write them all again.
The second, an iconic hit from the Beatles, always inspires and is a favorite of mine to play (often on repeat) while I tap away at my keys and create my worlds.
“Paperback Writer” is a deliciously inspiring song for authors. The harmonic chorus of, “paperback writer, paperback writer” in the background always pleases me and makes me feel official. As if I really am a paperback writer.
Starr works from her home in Pittsburgh as a freelance writer. Her professional work includes editing, Social Media marketing and management, ghost writing, content management and SEO for websites, and entertainment journalism. In the past, she has taught classes at writers’ conferences in Pittsburgh about freelancing as a career and the best practices for blogging and social media.
In her spare time, Starr writes fiction and is working on a paranormal novel and companion serial. In addition, she writes short stories and manages a local writing group. When she’s not writing, Starr is kept busy by her two hilarious and fantastically disgusting boys.
Her claim to fame is her caustic wit, copious swears, and an ongoing battle with insomnia. You can catch up with Starr on her blog, The Insomniacs Dream, Facebook, and Twitter. You can see what Starr has published by visiting her Amazon Author Page.