Florence Welch and her band (+ the Machine) have always been part of my life soundtrack, from using “What Kind of Man” to get through a breakup — OK, a couple of breakups — to listening to “Drumming Song” and “Kiss from a Fist” on repeat the whole way from Columbia, Mo., to Champaign-Urbana, Ill.
Her newest album, High as Hope, is no different. Although “Hunger” is currently the radio track of choice, the final song, “No Choir,” is the one that stood out to me most because of its opening. She immediately starts off by bluntly singing:
“And it’s hard to write about being happy / because the older I get / I find that happiness is an extremely uneventful subject…”
It’s an interesting statement and reflects another piece of writing advice I’ve always taken to heart. Kurt Vonnegut’s rules for creative writing in the preface to Bagombo Snuffbox include “Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.” There’s very little room for placid happiness if terrible things keep happening.
Something to keep in mind while continuing on to Day 2 of this year’s NaNoWriMo.