I dance sitting in my car. I can’t help myself. I can’t drive without music. And when I hear music, I have to move. When I hear great music, I have to move even more. And it looks ridiculous. At least I assume. I can’t actually see myself.
So I quite often find myself at a stoplight doing a fist pump that turns into an “oh I was just playing with my hair” move when I realize I’m level with the car beside me. Or a shoulder groove that turns into “just stretching out my sore muscles.”
But then I remember:
I don’t know these people.
That’s one good thing about the traffic in this area. Although I’m surrounded by other cars, I’ll probably never see those drivers ever again. So does it matter if they think I’m strange?
No. No it does not. Because the truth is, I am strange. (I know. Try to control your utter shock.) And it always makes me smile to see other strange people doing fabulously strange things.
So why not? Maybe a weird car-dancing girl in the car next to someone will make their day. You just never know. (Although the fist-pumping could be a little alarming so that one I might still keep in check. But the rest? Oh, it’s on.)
Confession: I’m going to keep car-dancing. And you can’t stop me. But you’re welcome to join me.
Last week was In.Sane. One of those physically exhausting, emotionally trying weeks that kept beating up on me in so many ways. And I kept telling myself to compartmentalize, to deal with things and then move on, the sooner the better. Because that’s rational and smart and appropriate.
And then I realized that was stupid.
Ok, I didn’t realize it right away. I had an epiphany in the drive-thru of Starbucks. (Before my coffee was in the car. How impressive is that?) All it took was a single line in a song on Pandora: “Take that rage, put it on the page, take the page to stage, blow the roof off the place.”
It gave me chills. The message smacked me in the face. Don’t hide it, use it. See, I don’t want to just be any writer, I want to be a great one. And what do all the great artists across history have in common?
Deeply, wholeheartedly. The good, the bad, the excruciatingly painful. From anguish to joy, they didn’t simply deal with life and move on — they felt it, let the emotions wrap around them and channeled them into their art.
I’m not saying I want to dwell on negativity, go all emo on you and wear black from head to toe. But I can take my emotions and let them fuel me. Let them flow through my characters so the reader can feel them, let them drive me to be better, to do more.
Whether it’s happiness or anger, contentment or fear, my emotions are valid tools. They don’t deserve to be locked away. They should be acknowledged and used.
Note to self: put it on the page. And then blow the world away.