Some days I just wanna write. Not because I have a particular subject on my mind, or because someone is paying me to do so. Just because I wanna write. The nearest thing I can equate it to is a musician picking up a guitar and strumming a tune. And hopefully, that analogy makes sense in more ways than one. Because in my mind, writing words should be no different from writing music.
I believe that words on a page should flow as music does. There should be a rhythm to what you are reading. There should be long flowing sentences that bore deep into your brain and capture your imagination, whipping it away on a magic carpet ride of prose that you never want to end, even though you know that sooner or later it must do because the inevitable conclusion of any sentence is some kind of punctuation mark. There should be short sentences too. Really short. Short enough to let you pause. Breathe. Process what has come before.
I also believe that a good writer should be like a good musician; unrestricted by genre. Words can be Rock and Roll. They can crash and bang and explode on a page. They can puff you up and make you feel ten feet tall, or they can build excitement and sweep you along on a wave that crescendos in a rip-roaring expression of self-indulgent extravagance; the written equivalent of a guitar solo that places reader and writer together on stage, the writer shredding for their life, whilst the reader plays air guitar beside them.
Words can be hip hop too, after all, the poetry of hip hop comes from words. It’s open to all comers, from gangsters and thugs to thinkers and nerds. You don’t need instruments or training to be a writer or MC. Just the courage of your convictions and to tell it how you see. You can rap to a backing track, or go acapella in the street. Writing also needs no tools, write your words in the sand beneath your feet. Rapping and writing need character, so be you, you’re unique. Don’t mind others, express it how you see it in the way that you speak. Tell your tales of oppression, fight for the poor and defend the weak. Or turn your words into a party, that will be the talk of the street.
You can even adopt the whimsical, emotion-provoking tone of the Folk singer and embrace the cliche that often comes with it. With words that float and hang in the air, shimmering on the breeze. Quiet and lazy like the haze of a summer afternoon, but still able to drift in and out of your head for days. You can talk of true love lost, of heartbreak, of despair. Of love found, of makeup, of triumph. Of shared emotions and familiar tales that are as old as time. Or you can conjure up sights, sounds and smells, like fairy lights on a Christmas tree, the sing-song jingle of an ice cream van or your Nan baking cakes in the kitchen.
You can do all of these things in music or in writing. I’m no musician though. Which is why sometimes, I just wanna write.