I believe that the music people listen to while working can be one of the best methods for overcoming writer’s block, as I kind of hinted at here. I like a lot of songs, but when I really like a song, that is, when I like it enough to start listening to it over and over again, it’s usually because it somehow ties in to one of the stories I’m working on/thinking about at the moment and it gets my creative juices flowing in some way.
I’m finding that I’m not one of those people who can be satisfied with naming only one song and call it “my story’s song,” or even “my character’s song,” because were I to try and pick only one, the question would always come up, “Well, which part of the story are we talking about here? Which aspect of this story are we talking about. Different songs match the feeling of a character at different times in the story, and in the process of writing I find myself becoming obsessed with different songs at different times. My latest obsession has been “Through Heaven’s Eyes,” which, while I didn’t anticipate it, is not surprising now that it happened.
Something I’ve realized lately is that my current main character’s main internal need is also connected to a lie, a lie that she tries not to believe, but part of her does, about what defines her worth as a person. But then again, I could probably say the same thing about every real person that’s ever lived in this world.
We like the whole “All men are created equal” type quotes. We want to believe them. But in life it is so, so difficult not to base your value for yourself on something that you can compare to someone else. Wealth, beauty, talent, intelligence or whatever is perceived as intelligence, fame, or maybe even what we think of as inherent goodness of character, can be put up on a pedestal or debased in relation to others in the mind’s giant comparison system. I’ve fallen prey to judging myself (and although it’s embarrassing to admit, other people) based on so many of these things. I know it’s a lie, but I still believe it.
And that’s why I love this song…
…because it’s not just about my character who defines her worth by a skill she doesn’t thinks she has in sufficient amounts, it’s also about me and how I’m tempted to define my own worth. I feel as if sometimes it takes a reversal of fortune, or meeting someone else with a different perspective on life, to come to the point where you can “look at your life through heaven’s eyes” and realize its importance in itself, regardless of comparison.