Thursday, March 18, 2010

Music, Writing, and You (and Me)

True writing is indistinguishable from the spontaneous emotion that inspires it. The word and the deed are one.

The writer's first job is to listen. And to see with his eyes closed. Already you can see that writing is a black art. How can you see with your eyes closed? The experience is much the same as with your eyes open. This is a mystery.

I know when I have written something good when my chest rings like a bell. Words contain music. So do emotions, so does experience itself. What is music? Rhythm, tones, wavelengths, harmonies, dissonance. What is the solar system? A waltz, a bolero. Planets repeating their revolutions around the sun in an eternally evolving rhythmic relationship to each other. What is a heartbeat? It is a drum that fills you with life. What are colors? Differing wavelengths of light, similar in shape to sound waves.

My science could be off, but I believe in music. Call it a deity if you must. To me, writing is music. I found my writing voice only after listening to, playing, studying and composing music for years.

So I recommend you listen to, play, study, and even compose some music of your own. For years. Pick an instrument and get to know it. Learn about some basic music theory.

Words were, first and foremost, sounds. Those sounds arise from emotion. Emotion arises from instinct and "religious feeling" and whatnot. Our ancient yelps and cries and sighs and laughter were indistinguishable from the emotion that caused them. Word and deed were one.

Let word and deed be one in your writing. Immerse yourself in music.

Posted via email from Will Conley's Random Things