Does loving music make you a better writer?
Right now, there's a bit of a linguistic debate going on in another thread. Briefly, there's a sentiment that overly mannered writing styles create a barrier to communication. This being Talkbass, there's a vigorous counter-sentiment. A disclaimer: I am a writer. I play music, and I have occasional flashes of inspired adequacy, but as a bass player...I make an excellent journalist. But I've been thinking a lot lately about the links between music and writing, and musicians and writers, and I thought I'd share a few thoughts.
I'm lucky because writing comes naturally to me, and my brain is very well wired to function in the realm of words. This doesn't mean it's always easy, and I know well the Terror Of The Blank Page, but I also know the feeling of prose clicking into place, more intuition than anything learned. Still...like a lot of writers, I've often wished I was built to be a musician. Writing is solitary, and not very sexy, and often frustrating. Sure, music is a hard road--but really, which caricature would you rather be? The backstage rock star with the riot of drug-fueled groupies, or the novelist in the dimmed room with the whiskey bottle?
With time, though, I've come to appreciate that I write with a musician's sensibility. I pay a lot of attention to rhythm, and phrasing, and timing, to euphony and tone. That's the subtle part of writing that seems innate, and there's real satisfaction in thinking that it's some reflection of my musicality--something I can't express as well with an instrument.
Now on TB, I see a really interesting range. We have some academics who impress with the precision of their language--though like most academic speak, it can get a bit clunky sometimes. (This isn't a critique: I think it's a function of that kind of analytical mind.) we have members who disdain allpunctiiation or spelllcheking becasse that's so 2oth cntry. We even have some sort of Expressionistic Word-Salad Free Verse poet, who seems to frustrate even the mods, but really fascinates me.
I would so love to discover the correlations and intersections of musical tastes, experiences, and verbal expression. I wonder if anyone else finds a synergy between the disciplines. Thoughts?