Music, like all art forms, transcends us to places where our minds can wander and our hearts can cry. It compels us to listen to voices that would otherwise go unheard. It is there when we shop, drive, work, and in our minds when we think. We've all had a tune we couldn't get out of our head, or lyrics we couldn't forget. I like all kinds of music: jazz, classical, classic rock, international and the blues, and I've often speculated on the reason why I always go back to the blues. What is it with that genre of music that stirs me? Perhaps it's the ailing voices of the singers who sound as though they are ready to break down and cry, or maybe it's the relentless wail of the guitar that quakes in agony. What ever it is, one thing is for certain. The blues is a genuine crying of the soul that makes you shudder with empathy. Its raw emotion punches you in the gut with a pain that's hard to forget.
As a writer, it is my job to evoke a feeling, stir something within the reader that makes them sit back and contemplate their own fears, hopes and dreams. Unlike the blues musician who accomplishes this task through auditory senses, a writer does this subtly, quietly, through invitation only. Words in a book are only perceived by those willing to turn the pages.
Writing is a journey, and sometimes a painful one. The ups and downs of the publishing world has ensured a tough battle for most of us. But for many writers the majority of the pain comes in the form of the words we write, and every writer will tell you that a little bit of them seeps into each story, intentional or not. The experiences we gather through the years feeds us, makes us stronger and more resilient. For good or bad, our pasts shaped who we are, and our stories are reflections of the lives we've led. Like a blues musician, the emotions a writer evokes should stab you in the heart and make you bleed.
As a writer, I embrace any hardships I've lived through, for it planted empathy in by soul and inspired my words. Without those experiences, I wouldn't be me.
Music is the language of our soul, and the written word is the voice of our outpourings, the passions, hopes and tears of our souls.
Enjoy the youtube videos of B. B. King, Amy Winehouse, Tracy Chapman and Joe Bonamassa below.