Writing has the same ingredients as a song—rhythm, pacing, flow, and lyrics. Reading something should feel like music to your ears.
There are countless of songs that bounce off our heads daily. It rings in our ears. It can act like a soundtrack to our lives. There are multiple things that can be written and have the same effect. Just like words, a song can stick, making a home for itself in our minds forever.
Sometimes when writing, there will be a certain line that will shock us. You know the line. A line of precise words that have been building inside of you for as long as you remember, but maybe you couldn’t find the words or verses for it yet. Or maybe you didn’t know those words were there at all, so when you wrote them in front of your laptop, you paused and reread them over and over again, because you finally got it. I equate this with music. There will always be a song that will paralyze you when you hear it. You then find yourself panicking because you would never have dreamed that the thoughts and feelings that you’ve held on to (and only you) for so long would be put into a song. A song sung and created by a person you have never met and will probably never meet in your entire life. Yes, in that way there is something magical and unexplained about writing and music.
Music and writing can make us celebrate. We get to come together around the pages like when people come together at a party. The bass thumping through your entire body with such force that you can barely hear more of your friends knocking on the door of your apartment to join the party. And you’re dancing and you’re drinking and you’re dancing and you’re singing along to the words, some you don’t know, but all you can feel. And you’re writing with the same rhythm. You’re humming the words towards the page and you’re writing and you’re dancing and writing and dancing and writing to the steady rhythm of your fingers on the keyboard, remembering a time in your life that makes you so deeply happy a glow comes from your gut all the way up until it turns your mouth into a soft smile. Yes, we come together at the same blank page when we write, yes we come together at the same party as we listen to our favorite music, but the way we open ourselves up to either one makes all the beautiful difference in the world.
Music and writing can make us soak into a deep slumber of sadness. But the outpour of lyrics and the out pour of written words in a journal can grasp those feelings. Writers take those inner tears and turn them into adjectives, syllables, nouns, verbs, and stunning metaphors. You listen to a sad song until you feel tears trickling down your nose, your lips, and your cheeks. You lay on your bed and let the sad, sad song soak into you. You can drive down the road with your best friend, in the rain, and pretend like you’re in a music video until you have to turn around back home before your midnight curfew. When you write, the darkest memories can creep down to your fingertips, rushing the words out like vomit before the tears blur your vision from seeing the screen or sheet of paper in front of you.
Music and writing can speak to an audience in many different ways. You can pour your heart on paper, like a song by Adele or you can shout towards the sky, fearless in whatever you have to say like gangster rap. Writing, like music, can also be spoken from different perspectives—hope, peace, violence, love, loss.
The voice in the music is just as important as your own voice in your writing. Who is this person that are writing these words? Who are the people singing these ballads on the radio? The soft and quiet whispers of a lullaby can ease the body or the strong and fearless tone can create great power within.
Paragraphs and soothing melodies express our identities. Both artists of the song and of the page are ultimately testaments to their beliefs. It is the way they see the world, throwing themselves out for the world to see, hopeful and waiting for a response back.
DeLaynna Corley, Assistant Editor