Music inspires me. Anything with written words inspires me. It probably drives my husband crazy, but I will analyze a song to pieces on a long road trip based on the lyrics, the voice, the mood of the song, the beats, the rhythm.
Some people, all they hear are the beats or rhythms. They don’t necessarily care about the words, (although I strongly believe that lyrics penetrate our mind whether we want them to or not. But i’m not here to rant.) Moving on.
I see beyond all that. For me, songs evoke strong feelings; anger, sadness, disgust – or joy, hope, encouragement. I prefer songs of encouragement, and joy. Sometimes sad songs strike a necessary cord, too. It’s alright to express sadness. There’s a time for that. But if I listened to sad songs all day, I would be sad. Who wants to be sad?
It comes as no surprise that songs inspire me while I write. I get into the head of my characters and when I hear songs on the radio or Pandora, I connect them to what my characters feel or think, or with what’s going on in their lives. Sometimes I will hear a song multiple times without recognizing the significance. It usually hits me out of nowhere. That’s the song. That’s exactly what Jay is going through. Other times, I will seek out the best song that represents that character, but that depends on how strongly the character is affected by music. More on that in future posts.
I’d like to begin weekly, sharing a few songs that display what some of my characters endure.
Today’s song is by Lincoln Brewster.
(The video should have lyrics, so you’ll be able to understand the meaning behind it.)
While writing the MS for my first book, Second Chances, I heard this song and immediately identified it as something Jay would relate to, a song that would encourage him to remember who he is as a new creation in Christ, when things get rough. I personally also love this song. It’s speaks encouragement. It says, I’m not perfect, but that doesn’t matter because God is still working on me. I’m made new, not just one time, but day after day after day. The lyrics remind Christians that God cares about us.
What does this have to do with Jay Mathews?
As you’ve probably guessed from previous hints in previous posts, Jay’s life has been rough. He grew up in foster care, ran with the wrong crowd, lived day to day. He ended up in prison because of a reckless mistake, a mistake he regrets every single day of his life. How many times have you ever made a mistake that you found extremely difficult to forgive yourself for? That’s how Jay felt while in prison. Consumed by his stupid, reckless actions, by guilt, and anger. Until God got a hold of him and made him new. (more on that later :))
I love this song, and I hope this song encourages you, as it encourages me, every time I listen to it.
Happy writing 🙂