I am very proud of myself for writing my novel, but I am also very eager to start working on a second novel. However, I am feeling particularly uninspired. When I was working on Her Beautiful Monster, I wrote every single day. I thought about it constantly, dreamed about it and dreaded when the project would eventually end. I was truly passionate and as of yet, I have not been as passionate about any possible plots or characters that have come to mind. In short, I NEED to be inspired.
Typically, I listen to music to stimulate both the brain cells and my creativity. The artists that double as my personal muses are Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, My Chemical Romance, and Elvis Presley. Truth be told, however, Her Beautiful Monster was inspired by another artist entirely; the novel was inspired by the music of Amanda Palmer. I don’t enjoy her music as often as the musicians I listed earlier (but I should, and you should too – she’s phenomenal), but I do listen to the Boss quite a bit; probably the most out of any other artist out there. I listen to him for at least an hour every day.
I love Bruce for a multitude of reasons. For starters, he is from New Jersey. I am also from New Jersey, and there is an inherent motivational feeling associated with observing someone from similar surroundings and background make it big. Springsteen was able to make it out of the Great Garden State and return a conquering hero. I would love to be able to do the same.
I love Bruce because he’s handsome, which hardly hurts and usually helps.
Most importantly, I love Bruce because his lyrics are prophetic and impossibly beautiful. His authenticity and genuine sentiments make him accessible to every American – he is able to creatively and concisely divulge the anxieties, the triumphs, the dreams, and the desperations of the American experience. He is a true poet, and he has his finger on the pulse of contemporary American society like no one else. I would argue that Springsteen is not only a poet, but a prophet. His words set to melodies can be anthems and a call to arms, can entertain and tell a story with rich characters and timeless themes, and can inspire. I am living proof of the latter, as the first thing that I ever consciously wrote for an audience that I was proud of was a short story titled Cover Me, inspired by the Springsteen song of the same name. The short story was published on-line in the Cynic On-line Magazine, and is still available to read if you are interested (HINT HINT).
Bono, the lead singer of U2, once said that Springsteen was both private and accessible, which in my humble opinion, is true and an incredibly romantic contradiction. Through not only his words and music, but through his very being, Springsteen represents the common man, but is able to do so in a personal way that invites individual listeners to sympathize and empathize on a very personal level, as if every song is for everyone and simultaneously tailored to suit anyone; that is a truly remarkable feat that I strive to emulate.
Springsteen’s song “I’m On Fire” played a HUGE role in creating Her Beautiful Monster, and I still find myself returning to its imagery of loneliness and longing as physical and emotional ailments. The lyrics are beautifully simply and blunt. I highly recommend that everyone reading this also listen to that song, especially if you plan on reading my novel.
In my search for inspiration, I have lately been listening to Springsteen’s “Jack Of All Trades,” from his newest album, “Wrecking Ball.” The song has definitely enchanted me, and I believe there is inspiration within but to be honest, I am having a hell of a time finding it.
I need help.
What inspires you? Is it music? Is it a person? When you want to be creative, how do you get in the zone? Please share. I hope I’ve been able to return the favor.
Also – I’ve included a link to the short story mentioned in this blog … if you’re interested. 🙂