The writing exercise I’m working on today involves committing to a writing practice. I’m supposed to decide how often I’ll write, and how much time I’ll dedicate to writing. I’m also supposed to write about three songs that I consider to be the most important.
I’m finding this exercise difficult.
First, I find it hard to commit to a particular cadence in my writing (don’t let the apparent regularity of my posting fool you – I write at odd times and just use WordPress scheduling to conceal the insanity).
It’s not that I don’t already have a writing habit of sorts – every night, I try to spend about thirty minutes writing down what made me thankful for my day, writing down what I did (so I can feel a sense of accomplishment), and journaling (so I can sort out my feelings). It’s just that I sometimes end up with a day that exhausts me so profoundly that I find myself choosing to sleep or play a video game or read a book – ironically, what exhausted me yesterday was reading the ENDING of a book, which prompted me to read another book instead of writing more on that plot bunny my first post for this course accidentally generated. So yeah, I’m trying to commit. I’m just filled with so much fear of not being able to in the long run.
I’ll try to commit to one hour a day (online or offline).
Second, I find it hard to pick just THREE songs that I find important because they often change according to my mood.
I keep wondering if I should write about the songs that uplift me right now, or the songs that drove me forward in the past. I know that this is supposed to be a free-writing exercise, but this is honestly one of the first thoughts that my brain brought up. HOW DO I CHOOSE? I have entire musicals and soundtracks and playlists that bring tears to my eyes if I’m in the exact right mindset for it. When I finished reading “The Magician’s Land” (review pending) yesterday afternoon, I found myself playing “Some Nights” and “Carry On” by Fun over and over again before I jumped into “The Paper Magician“, which I finished this morning (review also pending). I found those songs important in my life then. A few weeks ago, it was “Ooh Child” by The Five Stairsteps.
But I suppose I could try to pick songs that remind me to keep my chin up (because I find it ridiculously easy to feel down).
The Songs of My People
In no particular order:
I first heard this song back in 2004, on a replay of the Tony Awards (starring Hugh Jackman). I ended up crying my eyes out. Back then, I was a weird little girl who was taking up a fairly unpopular course that would not guarantee employment – I have a feeling that my paternal grandfather had a conniption at that point, because he’s the type of person who thought a degree is pointless unless you can make money out of it (I DID, though!). But hearing this song made me understand that I don’t have to care about that. I can’t let someone else’s opinions choose my path for me. I’m reminded of this every time I hear this song, and that’s why I consider this important.
Wicked Little Town
I was already working at my first job when my younger sister introduced me to internationally-ignored singer-songwriter Hedwig Robinson. Honestly, I first got drawn in by “Origin of Love” because I had grown up loving mythology – and that song had a lot of mythological references that somehow tie in well with Plato’s Symposium (which influenced it). But then I listened to the entire soundtrack and found so much hope in this one. It reminds me that while the world is a shitty one full of shitty people, I am loved by family and by God. Don’t look at me like that. This is totally how God is supposed to make you feel, and that is why I need this song every so often. Yes, I believe in God. I probably don’t believe in YOUR God, though.
I Have Confidence
I was about four years old when I first saw “The Sound of Music” on Betamax (look it up, kids), and while most of my friends and teachers insist that we love “My Favorite Things” or “Do Re Mi”, this is the song that stuck with me. It just encapsulated Maria’s character so well, and it showed me exactly how I can get out of a negative spiral. It’s not that she wasn’t scared – she was terrified – but she told herself that it shouldn’t stop her from trying something ner. Whenever I feel scared over a new thing in my life, I don’t just listen to this song – I sing it in the shower. Suddenly, things don’t seem so bad.
I wonder what songs other people think of as their “chin-up” songs?