By guest blogger Carole Jane Treggett
Before I could write, I could talk. Before I could talk, I could sing.
Recently I wrote a post called A Whole New Meaning to “Finding Your Voice”. So many epiphanies went into the creation of that post, I decided to create a new blog category (named “finding your voice“) and invite our readers to contribute. Here’s our second contributor; please help me welcome Carole.
When I was a child and my mother put me down in my crib for an afternoon nap, I apparently didn’t cry when I woke up. After a few hours, she would come into my room to check on me, wondering why I was sleeping so long.
There I’d be, wide awake on my back, singing softly and swaying from side to side. Content in my solitude, in communion with the creative musical voice inside of me.
Years later, I know when I’m immersed in wonderful writing flow when I can really ‘hear’ the words and phrases falling into place, forming into melodic rhythm as I type or put pen to paper. I feel the swell of the same joy as when I listen to music or sing a song that’s especially meaningful. If I’m reading a piece of good fiction, the prose seems to flow through my mind and heart as beautiful music too, and I aspire ardently to write in such an uplifting, lyrical way.
It seems music has always been in me and around me, a constant, powerful force complementing my writing and creative expression like a soulful soundtrack.
Even before I was born, my dad would play all the best jazz records for hours on end, and I swear I ‘remember’ rocking out happily to many a tune in the cozy cocoon of my mother’s womb!
But for the past few years, music has pretty much been absent from my life.
When I was reading Milli’s great first post on ‘Finding Your Voice’, something she shared in particular made my writerly spirit sit up straight and pay close attention:
“I discovered that finding your voice can mean remembering to go back to a form of expression you once loved but that you stopped doing.”
My days working from home as a creative solopreneur are usually spent in my office, at the computer, in diligent silence (even though it can feel ‘noisy’ when I take in too much information for too long online). Most weekday evenings after supper are spent doing household chores, reading (again, usually without other media on) or watching an hour of television before preparing for bed.
How I used to enjoy having music all around me, at various times of the day. Whether it was coming out of the speakers in the livingroom or playing my own peculiar ‘mixed tape’ in my head, music never failed to rejuvenate, stimulate and inspire me creatively, especially with my writing, but with other artistic projects too.
Why the heck I would choose to ‘stay away’ I’m not sure, but as I sat out in my backyard chewing on Milli’s wonderful words, I felt a sort of homesickness stir inside me, and I continued to ponder…
A few minutes later, my acoustic guitar came to mind. Yeah, the very same poor neglected instrument I hadn’t touched in three years, stored in its case in a corner of the basement. I remembered the joy, how much lighter my soul felt, as my fingers plucked away on the strings, singing favourite folk and pop songs as well as a few I had written myself.
I smiled remembering how replenished and inspired I would feel afterwards, so calm after drifting away on River Reverie,imagining all my creative dreams coming true.
Great writing ideas would often float up to the surface like bubbles on water and I’d scurry to jot them down in my notebook before I blinked and they disappeared.
“People ask me how I make music. I tell them I just step into it. It’s like stepping into a river and joining the flow. Every moment in the river has its song.” – Michael Jackson
As I lifted my face up to the warmth of the sun and breathed in the wonderful music of the wind through the trees, a big piece of the puzzle fell into place as to why I might still be struggling with my writing too often and why I still couldn’t successfully break free from the relentless ticker tape of worry, fear and self-doubt.
I realized I needed that intimate relationship with music back in my life in order to blossom and thrive fully in my creative career as a writer. To allow myself to play. The next day I drove to the nearest music store and bought a new set of guitar strings.
How about you? Is there a creative or artistic form of expression you can return to to help you find, enjoy and share your own unique writing voice?