Saturday, September 22, 2007

Riding In Cars With Songs

As I'm mulling over the last of my decisions before getting back to my writing in earnest, I've been visualizing my novel as if it were a film, wondering what song should play during the opening sequence, how best to capture the theme, the mood, hint at the nature of the story with just a few key images and lines from a song. It's not that my novel will necessarily ever get published, or that if it does, that it will ever be made into a movie -- but I want to SEE this story, to FEEL it, to know it thoroughly, in my mind. Of course, I do hope that it will at least get published, since I feel it is such a worthwhile story; otherwise I wouldn't be writing it.

As you've guessed, apart from the shower, the car is another good place for me to get inspiration for my writing. And of course what do I do in the car when driving? I listen to various CD's, always wondering whether this song or that song might better suit this or that novel idea. It's a terrible habit because I sometimes prefer to listen to the lyrics rather than the conversation of whoever might happen to be riding with me, and frankly I think that's rude, but perhaps it's really rude of other people to think that they should attempt a conversation when riding with someone who is preoccupied with a novel in progress.

Which brings me to a singular thought: the world really should stand still for a while to allow those of us who need time for contemplation that precious introspection which we require in order to move forward with our creative projects. Until that happens, we creative types will bear the unnecessary burden of carrying on with our creativity in the face of a world that does not understand the creative process, the need to stare into space while contemplating realities that others would never know existed if we didn't give form to them and share them.

Alas, it is an all-consuming struggle.

Fortunately, as I ponder while driving, I realize my priorities lie in avoiding collisions, so I do keep my thoughts primarily on the road, especially the pedestrians lining it, and I use my rather significant patience to brake frequently, as often as necessary in our heavy traffic. I do attempt to appear interested in whatever conversation might be offered me, and appreciate the courage of anyone who would venture a dialogue with a preoccupied writerly type. And in the face of it all, I listen as the songs spin round and round on the CD's, smiling a private smile whenever I realize the words that just went by struck gold.


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