Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Song 45,897

(This blog was originally written on May 19th, 2006)

I like to listen to the radio as I drive in the car. It’s the only place that’s quiet enough to actually hear what’s being played. I sing along to the Carpenters, Air Supply, Billy Joel. I also listen to the music that’s being written more recently, and I’ve come to a conclusion that isn’t surprising, but it’s disappointing nonetheless. There are no new songs.

With all the songs that have ever been written since the dawn of time, we’ve heard just about every possible note combination, lyrical phrase, and beat of a drum. The songs are all starting to sound alike. It’s almost as if the songwriter sits down with their sheet of paper and says, “Okay, I’ll take line A from song 459 and line G from song 136 and then I’ll set it to the tune of song 448. Presto! There’s my new song!” It’s so rare anymore to hear a song that truly is unique. That’s why song composers such as Burt Bacharach are such a blessing, with their clever lyrics and unusual melodies. And we must not forget Rockapella, my favorite group of all time. I may just write them their own blog.

The phenomenon of "nothing new" also exists in the world of literature. I had a discussion with some friends a while back about the theory that every book has already been written, and all the books being written now are just mixtures of books that have gone before. I can see their point very clearly, but I don’t like it.

As an author, I want to stand up and be different. I want to be fresh and exciting. I want my readers to come to the end of one of my books and say, “Wow! That was really different.” But is that possible? Or am I just rewriting books that have already been written and been around the block one too many times?

I think it’s important to remember that we are all individuals, sent here from Heaven with our own personalities, our own spirits, our own souls and our own missions. No two persons on this earth were given exactly the same traits or exactly the same job to do. Even identical twins have their own characteristics. We are like snowflakes, but we are eternal, not doomed to melt as soon as the warm air touches us. And with our uniqueness, our inherent individuality that is ours alone, is it too odd to think that we could also have a song or a story within us, that no one else could write? I’d like to think so. And I’m going to keep trying until I’ve done it.

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