In Conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda
COMMON: What’s your fuel source?
MIRANDA: Writing from a place of love and being a hopeful person. You can use any source of fuel to power your craft. Rage is a fuel source. Joy is a fuel source. Anger is a fuel source. Love is a fuel source. I find that love burns slower and longer. I need it to write musicals. I can’t write a musical on rage. I can write three angry tweets on rage, but I can’t sustain that energy. That’s the kind of fuel that blows up your ship. I feel worse at the end of the day. I feel too exhausted to go on. I need to write from a place of love.
He said it. Without hesitation. What’s your fuel source? Writing from a place of love.
I need to write from a place of love.
I used to harbor a lot of anger inside of me. I was doing it sort of subconsciously for this long period of time. I was just constantly angry and always bitter inside. It physically, mentally, and emotionally drained me. I couldn’t sustain it. I can’t sustain it, and I love Lin-Manuel Miranda for saying that he can’t do it either because it makes me not feel like I’m a complete idiot.
I mean, it’s true. It’s really hard to do. The second that I let go of my anger, I felt so much lighter. I remember when this happened so well because it felt like my whole body and being shifted. I’m not saying it’s easy to let things go, especially things that have really hurt and scarred you. Not at all, but I did find that doing so was a lot easier than sustaining anger and rage and bitterness that whole time.
He is absolutely right. I need to write from a place of love.
With that being said, I am not your critic.
I’ve worked as a freelance journalist before, and I still do. I’ve written reviews on different works of art and while I definitely made it a point to approach all of my pieces with positivity – mostly because I didn’t have the heart to say otherwise – I didn’t completely enjoy what I was doing because I felt so critical.
Don’t get me wrong. Journalism is increasingly important. I admire so many journalists and reporters and writers and news sources out there who are truthfully giving us real and important information that we need, especially these days. If you’re out there doing that for us and spending your lives and your time giving that to us, I just want to take this second to tell you thank you .. So much because we need you and your work is so meaningful and important, and I truly believe the power of words can be the world’s saving grace.
However, when it comes to critiques or putting things out on the internet for the sole purpose of gossip or fake news to break a headline, I don’t think I was made to write like that.
I’m sorry but I can’t put my writing towards something so opinionated that it aims to take down somebody else.
I can’t put my writing towards not lifting somebody up. I don’t think I actually know how.
When I used to write my journalism pieces, I always felt slightly uncomfortable doing it and I struggled to find the right things to say all the time.
Who was I to judge somebody else’s art? Who was I to say what a piece of work might mean to somebody else? I seriously hated that because I’m nobody at all to do that, and that’s not what art interpretation is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be your own, and yet people are out there all the time saying you should think about things one certain way.
I didn’t want to write like that.
So I stopped, and then I started this blog.
Love and Lyrics isn’t going to be a music review or reactions website. It’s not going to be a best and worst pop culture and entertainment gossip listing. It’s going to be love, and it’s going to be lyrics, and I just really wanted to make that clear.
I wanted to write about the things I love and I wanted to write about the truths that I feel when listening to music and walking through life. I wanted to put more of what I love out on the internet. I wanted to share the things that brought me joy with others. I wanted to write about good things because I know what it’s like to be said mean things to. I want to make this a place of light and hope and truth because I know not everything on the internet is always that all the time. I know what it’s like to feel judged or have your art misunderstood, and I’m not going to use my writing to be that kind of person to someone else.
I just want my writing to go towards something good. So I’m not here to review new music. I’m here to tell you what I love about it. I’m not here to look at someone’s songwriting from some critical standpoint. I’m here to admire it as a fan – plus I wrote too many of those kinds of essays in college. I’m not here to say pop music is better than hip-hop is better than showtunes is better than rock and roll. I’m not even here to define what rock and roll is. I’m not here for that. I’m here to tell you that I love all of it and I hope you’ll listen to it. I’m here to tell you that I think this person is a poetic genius and here is all the evidence as to why. I’m here to listen whole heartedly when or if you ever want to tell me what your music means to you. I’m here to tell you that these are the songs that keep inspiration and light and hope alive in my life.
I’m not saying I’m never going to write another sad post again. Don’t hold that against me because I’m expressive and there will definitely be a lot of those, but I’ve found that for me, my sadness is many times born out of a need to be loved or wanting to give love or wishing love was more present in a place where it seems absent … I need to write from a place of love.
So that’s what I’m going to do.