My first #MusicMonday post!

Okay, it’s a week later than expected, but here’s the Monday post I mentioned! I’ve always wanted to write a blog to contribute to the #MondayBlogs hashtag on Twitter and tag it with #MusicMonday, and what better time than now, shortly after the debut of one of Amy Lee’s newest solo pieces?

Anyone who knows me knows Evanescence is one of my favorite bands of all time. I have a post on my old LiveJournal spazzing out about the release of their last full-length, a self-titled album that was released in 2011. I’ve gotten to see them twice live, thankfully, after their hiatus-almost-turned-breakup scared me into believing I’d never have the pleasure of doing so. And now, frontwoman Amy Lee has put out a single that’s absolutely rocked my socks called “Push The Button”.

Now—for what this has to do with my writing (you knew it would come down to that, right?). Though this piece is a significant deviation from Evanescence’s gothic/melodic rock style, it’s still very Amy Lee in that it’s haunting. And that dark sound that both she and the band have created over the years has inspired my writing in ways even I probably don’t realize. So hearing her voice again in a fresh yet familiar way is kicking my writing impulses into overdrive.

Music has always influenced my writing—my first-ever embarrassing attempt at an original short story, for example, was inspired by Incubus’s “I Miss You” when I was 14—but Evanescence and Amy Lee are among the few whose music I can listen to while writing. Typically, I need silence when I write, or at least an absence of other words to influence me; that is, I can write while listening to instrumental music, but not while listening to anything else with lyrics. That’s not the case with Evanescence/Amy Lee, and Florence + The Machine is probably the only other band that also doesn’t apply to.

I think that’s because Amy Lee’s lyrics struck a real chord with me when I was an angsty, young teenager—the very time I began to discover writing in a real and lasting way. She wrote about the darkest recesses of our emotions and desires, of the macabre and the abstract, in ways I wanted my writing to convey. If my writing had a sound, it’d ideally be Evanescence.

This love for their/her music (coupled with a new, fangirlish love for Nabokov’s prose after discovering Lolita) prompted me to write a dark short story in my later teen years called “I Know You’re Still There,” which I wrote while listening to “Haunted” by Evanescence. The title, if you’re not a fan enough to know, is lifted directly from the lyrics. That short story can still be found around on the internet and I’m not going to link to it here out of pure embarrassment, but I remember feeling incredibly passionate about it during the writing process, despite my distaste for it now as a more experienced writer. The music had a lot to do with that passion.

Listening to this song now brings me back to those times, but also gives me some perspective on what my future work will look like. Because of Evanescence, I’ve always wanted to write a horror novel—a traditional haunted house piece, perhaps. I haven’t given Horror much of a stab beyond my zombie story “The Spread,” but it might just have to be my next project, inspired by this song. Even Amy’s vocalizing in this song sounds like the chilling voice of a ghost at your heels.

What about you? Most writers claim to be inspired by music in some way. Who is your favorite to write to? Do you find your work to be influenced depending on what you’re listening to? Let me know—I’d love to chat further about it!

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