Updated: Feb 20
Guest writer for "The NZDream" blog
Have you ever watched a show, a series, a movie, or even a song, and gotten inspired to write a book, story, or poem? Or just to be yourself?
I have always loved music and art of any form since I was young. Funny how songs drew the picture for me, especially relationship-wise, of what true love should be, how the perfect guy or girl acts and looks. Those became some sort of measure of how romantic or loving any partner I had was. Seven different love songs combined, their lyrics intertwining to create the perfect image of love.
I was not really inspired to write my own pieces, initially, but would rather sing along in different voices and use borrowed lines in my love letters as well as breakup letters. That’s what love comprised. I measured it all, based on what the lyrics said, to the responses I gave!
It was only until I knew trauma and pain that all the love songs started appearing hazy and just merely colorful words that painted a fairytale around a thing so dark and hopeless. All the lyrics, thereafter, became petty, shallow, full of cringe and senseless. Who would fall for that? I found myself asking with scorn at the very thing that used to be my drive.
I would say it was maturity, but I honestly think I was searching for peace and an escape from the darkness that had descended upon my very being and life. But every song and book I picked up seemed not to reach that spot in my heart that needed filling. It was all just plastic and flattery. The lyrics showed their shallowness, cringe, and how plastic they were. I needed words that went deeper than the picture of love people publicly paint. I wanted the peace and love that would stay, even where cameras and other eyes weren't.
The first time art ever awoke something in me that wanted to create an expression of what I kept inside was, I remember, after reading The Joys of Motherhood by Chinua Achebe. The descriptions, environments, and emotions spoke to a familiarity my inner being couldn't deny. The words carried more than my eyes and attention; they carried my heart and yearning. The things society permitted not to be said, this book artistically put it all out. Here was a place my heartfelt understood and at home.
Slowly, with every song, every read, and every film, the person of old changed. It started off with diary jotting, then poetry. All of it, purely my heart, but I was not bold enough or sure enough, my story was meant for the world to know, and I did not think anyone would see it worthy to read my books. My heart yearned, through the years, to find a book, a film, something that fully understood my very heart. Many a read I had, many songs I played, and hordes of films I watched over the years, yet that hollowness remained. Only this time around, the songs and art I embraced barely spoke relevance. I had a lot to put up for discussion. So, slowly, without notice, I observed, absorbed, and learned from the surrounding works, until, with every book or song, I would find distaste. The words were merely superfluous. This nurtured the need even more. It took years before this was fully grown and birthed, as my own writing, my own pieces. I finally found a way of getting that message, that book, that song I was searching for all along out there. My own heart’s song and lamentations!
I felt a connection like I had never before with Joy’s of Motherhood, as if blinkers were removed from my eyes. This was a book that understood my world. But it, too, did not really speak to everything that haunted me.
From this time aforementioned, I started seeing movies, plays, songs, and art from a different perspective. The heart between the lines started being clearly visible and changing part of me. Slowly, until, one day, that pea-sized familiarity birthed a need for complete understanding. This need then gave birth to my first publication years after the inspiration came. A book with all I was seeking and couldn't find, a book with my very heart's wishes, desires, regrets, and hopes. Nature, people, experiences, and, of course, music and art, all joined hands in inspiring my writings.
I would say, this far, the films and art around me influence the writer I come out as, and the person I am, though at times, subconsciously. Be it negatively or positively. Either I learn, or get new ideas to write on. The books I read, growing up and to date, together with the literature I learned at school, along the way, are definitely the source of my writing style. So, yes, I have read books, watched films, seen art, and listened to songs and some have inspired me to become the author I am, some have taught me what not to be.
I cannot say I became the writer I am today, with all of my own brains and talent. Art, nature, and life itself gave me the foundation and encouragement that grew the seed of creations in me and dictates my writing style and the themes I tackle. Yes, art, in its complete diversity and beauty, influences my work to date.
How about you?