I have never been a particularly envious person. Covetous, sometimes, but that’s different.
There are, however, two things that I do get green-eyed envious about. The first is that I envy people who can wear matte lipstick for longer than an hour. I used to know this woman who always wore fire-engine red matte lipstick and it was always perfect. Even after she’d drunk a cup of coffee. What’s that about? I can wear matte lipstick, but after about twenty minutes it all peels off and I just have this clown outline going on. Even when I use those ‘stay put lip varnish’ things, it only lasts about ten minutes longer.
It’s very unfair. Although, if we’re being honest, it probably doesn’t help that I drink like a non-alcoholic fish. I mean, people think that I have diabetes sometimes because I drink so much. I don’t, I’m just always thirsty.
But I digress.
The second thing that makes envious is the one that’s actually related to writing, and that is people who can make playlists. No, who CREATE playlists. Especially authors who can do it for their own books. You know the ones, Jimmy McAuthorpants who has a curated list of harmonious and thematically linked music that they listened to for each character in their novel.
Do you know what I listen to when I write? Random shite. For example, a quick scan of my current playlist reveals three covers of ‘Shake it Off’, six Loki fanvids, two Quicksilver fanvids, one Atomwave fanvid (Heatwave/The Atom, their love makes no sense but it’s real), and Mordred’s Lullaby. Oh alright, let’s be honest. There’s also some Nickelback. There’s always some Nickelback!
Genuinely though, I do wish I could do proper playlists. A friend of mine can do it — like, really good ones where the energy of the music matches how the hits its various narrative beats — but the closest I can get is doing a keyword search on youtube and seeing what comes up. That’s how I found the Loki fanvids (and look, I regret nothing there, I just don’t).
However, it’s just not how my brain works. And that’s ok.
That sounds trite doesn’t it? Actually, though, one of the most important things I’ve had to accept as a writer is that how I write is actually OK. It’s not as tidy or as well-organised as some authors. I can’t plot anything more than the bare bones of a story, unless I want my entire brain to hand in its notice. And I can’t create a musical filing system for characters and/or inspiration. I am a messy, seat of the pants, barely one step ahead of the story writer, who listens to Nickelback. It gets the job done though. My novels aren’t messy, not that messy anyhow, and I have (to date, touch wood) always gotten them in on time.
So if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Right?
I mean, I still envy the playlisters. I wish I could crawl in their ear and just…auger out the bit that can organise music like that and implant it in my own brain. Since I can’t…right?…ok, yes, since I can’t. Nickelback and ‘Shake it Off’ covers it is. Just as long as I get the books written!
Hope that the New Year is treating you well!