Walk Down the Street and Sing a Happy Song, To Make the World Better

I'm going to forewarn you all now, this post is going to be somewhat meandrous.

I've had a long, exhausting day. I've had a lot of them lately, and I'm sure many of you reading this have been or are in a similar boat as mine. It's hard to muster up the energy to do anything come the end of the day. Heck, half the time it's hard to muster up the energy to do anything by the time the day's half over. It's easy to let it get to you. For a while I really let it get to me. When I released Council, I did a guest blog post where I talked about the tricks I used to maximize writing time. Last October I tweeted that I had started working on Collapse, and nearly a year later I don't even have a finished first draft to show for it.

At some point, I lost my way. I started only writing during the hour at work when I should ostensibly be feeding myself, and maybe relaxing. I would get home and vegetate. Five hundred words a day became a pat on my own back.

Some nights, though, I would suddenly become talkative. Some of you who follow me on Twitter have probably seen my late-night ramblings about music as I spend hours going down the rabbit hole of YouTube punk rock cover songs. Other than that, my nights have, of late, been relegated mostly to catching up on podcasts, watching the odd goofy YouTube show, or idly logging more hours on Skate 3 than probably the rest of the world combined has managed in the last three years.

Somehow, it didn't click with me until tonight, going from feeling like my extremities had all been lead weighted to gaining a burst of energy that came way too fast for it to have been the few sips of coffee I'd managed. Deciding, on a whim, to pull up a few YouTube videos of Toronto punk rock darlings Pup.

I have, since my teenage years, written almost exclusively to music. A part of me always saw it more out of habit than necessity, though. I mean, yes, writing a politics paper while listening to NOFX is certainly apropos, and I admit I wrote Summerlark listening to Bach more or less the entire time, but in those and every other case, it was a means to serve an end. If I'm writing, I need to concentrate, and in order to do that I need to tune the rest of the world out. How better to do that than by listening to music?

The truth is, music has informed my storytelling since I first started thinking of stories to tell. I've been storyboarding daydreams since I hit the age where music began to mean something in my life. Heck, if I'm being totally honest, I'm sure I could think of a few times in my life when I actively tried to score my own life with the soundtrack I chose.

So here I am, making full use of my Spotify account, and somehow managing to write my second blog post in the last month despite wanting nothing more than to find the nearest soft surface and drift into complete torpor not three hours earlier. I suppose I'd better get back to writing Collapse before the magic wears off.

The lead singer from the mid-00s Brampton punk band Bombs Over Providence once wrote lyrics speaking of "when my heroes spoke through headphones, and my victories all had soundtracks", as though it was a time long passed. I think that for some of us it's important that we hold onto those times.

Now if you'll all excuse me, I plan to use NaNoWriMo to help me finish off this book, and that involves me getting back into the kind of shape that lets me write 1,700 words a day again.

Cue up that training montage.