About the Author: Music, My Path to Writing

To continue my sporadic About the Author series, I’d like to talk about how music has impacted and influenced my writing.

I’ve loved music for just about as long as I can remember. My parents played lots of vinyl records, instilling in me a love for the classics like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, along with many others. As I got older, I discovered punk, metal, and electronic music. I learned how to play guitar, bass, keyboard, and computer sequencing.

During my late teens and early twenties, I played and sang in several bands, trying to make it as a professional musician. Eventually, as my skills and creativity matured, I moved from playing punk to experimental prog-rock. Being that I was the primary singer and lyricist for the band, I dreamed up a conceptual theme based on a sci-fi world. It started with the evolution of the solar system, each album progressing through a different epoch of time. All the planets were symbolically based on a different band member and their history. During this time, I really wanted to write sci-fi novels, but didn’t feel I had the skills for something like that. (By the way, I just Googled this band, The Ascent and Decline of Terrion, and it turns out there is still music online, on MySpace of all places…).

I used to be HardxCore! 😉

When The Ascent and Decline of Terrion broke up, I decided I’d had enough of trying to make bands work. If you’ve never been in one, it’s hard to understand just how much drama and conflict can be involved. I briefly worked on a solo electronic project under the name Trans Human Existence (again implementing sci-fi themes) and finally started writing a novel. Several years passed, the manuscript became Breakers of the Dawn, and I quit creating music.

Sometimes I really miss being in bands, playing shows, and rocking out. It was a fun collaborative effort, greater than the sum of its parts. One thing I’ve realized though, was that I enjoyed the act of creating and playing songs for a couple weeks. After that, they began to feel stale and I was ready to move on. Writing has a similar analog: the process of drafts and revision. However, I find these to be much less taxing and enjoyable than playing the same songs week after week.

At any rate, I still love music and even listen to it while writing, finding tracks that suit the mood of whatever I’m working on. Music can often get me into a flow, help me focus, and mentally send me off to places I didn’t knew existed.

 

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