Friday, March 21, 2014

The Perfect Song - #fridayflash



The author finds the perfect song. The search is laborious, infinite, and instantly forgotten in a melody inspirational and nonintrusive. Whatever muse sprang these rhythms into our world gave them merit without demanding attention, and thus the author can work to it.

The author puts the perfect song on loop and begins to type what will surely be the greatest opening paragraph in the history of the novel.

The author’s web browser blinks with an IM. GChat is never truly closed in publishing. Or perhaps it’s a tweet, or a new Like on a half-clever Facebook post from a few hours ago, the last dying gasp of approval for memes past. The author checks the trivial interruption, which ought to take only a few seconds, and the end of the key sentence is still in his mind. Somehow, by no fault of his own, he has soon opened Tumblr, Reddit, and least defensibly, Youtube, chasing links that ask for so little of his time. All with that perfect song on loop in the background, reminding him to work. Eventually he may pause the perfect song to better hear the funny cat video his second college roommate posted, though he’ll unpause it out of guilt shortly later.

The author screws around for so long that, once he realizes his errors, his mind now associates the perfect song with screwing around. Perhaps it was never perfect. Perhaps he was never perfect, but that matters not, for the song is no longer the anthem of victorious words. It causes him only to dwell in how he let lunch time get here without meeting his morning word count.

And so the author opens his music folder and searches for another perfect song.

20 comments:

  1. I'm fairly certain I've had a day like this once. Darn those pesky distractions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL that social media will distract you every time. ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  3. Before the days of digital, we authors really had to work to attain our procrastination and at least the household chores got done. I can honestly say if I can't 'hear' a song when it's played, it ain't on my I-Tunes

    ReplyDelete
  4. The curse of distraction - nothing more universal in writing.

    FWIW, I prefer silence or white noise when I'm writing. I find any kind of music distracting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I respect silent writers. I know many who find their own distractions within white noise holes, but I still respect the process. Many of my musical selections are half to block out the world.

      Delete
  5. Touche! :) For some reason I read this more as a poem than a flash piece, and it worked very well. Fantastic interpretation of what so many of us endure.
    I too must have silence when writing, Tony, else I get caught up in the music and start singing, even if it's an instrumental, I'll make up my own words.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If this isn't the life of a writer, I don't know what is. Good story!

    ReplyDelete
  7. To block out the world, yes. But that pesky world manages to find a crack to slip through.

    One could always turn off wifi, or unplug the Ethernet cable... but now everything is migrating to the cloud!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Haha I only listen to music when I drive or clean house. Now that internet...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ouch, that definitely rings true to a lot of writers.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've worked with music at times. Mostly, however, I have to work in the quiet, with the only noise coming from my keyboard.

    ReplyDelete
  11. ah, he shoulda got it down while it was hot, the trouble with distractions is they tend to be a bit... errr... distracting. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hahaha. Yeah, some authors disable their wireless and go somewhere without internet just to write. I can totally relate to this.

    P.S. Congrats on finishing your manuscript. Cheers. You definitely deserve treats.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Spot on! I had a feeling the author was doomed as soon as I read "perfect song".

    One of my writing advice books describes a woman who wrote an entire novel on a notepad, standing up on the New York subway during rush hour every morning and every evening, because that was the only time she had to herself. The author of the advice book said the novel was being queried and that the woman was working on her second one. Maybe writers should aspire to being able to write standing up on the subway more than under "perfect" conditions.

    (And for the record, I'm writing this in a Starbucks with my earbuds on, listening to London Grammar's "Strong" on repeat. It's been my perfect song for the last three days. :-) )

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've had entirely too many days like that. Discipline is so hard to maintain.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sort of a Circle-of-Life/Meta moment, right? :D

    ReplyDelete

Counter est. March 2, 2008