After his initial surge of creativity at the end of the Seventies, Elvis Costello, as he personally stated, came to the conclusion that he needed to constantly and on purpose invite chaos into his life so that he could continue his creative streak. It seems that worked, at least for a while — some of his best albums like “Get Happy!!”, “Imperial Bedroom” and “Blood and Chocolate” came during that period.
On “Punch The Clock” from 1983, one of the albums from that period he came up with probably one of his best songs — ‘Everyday I Write A Book”, where, among other things he (writes) and sings:
“The way you walk, the way you talk and try to kiss me
And laugh in four or five paragraphs
All your compliments and your cutting remarks
Are captured here in my quotation marks
I’m giving you a longing look
Everyday, everyday, everyday, everyday, everyday
Everyday I write the book
Everyday I write the book”
So Costello thought that it was chaos, his own and personal, that was needed to inspire him to write. Some other artists and writers didn’t necessarily need to invite it — chaos came on its own volition.
In both cases, it was inspirational. And certainly damaging in many aspects. But while on one hand, such events and people that create them, including yourself, can become an eternal source of inspiration, the effects of chaos oil your life could also have a damning effect on your inspiration and writing.
Dire circumstances, whether it is Costello or Charles Bukowski are not something that somebody should purposefully invite onto themselves to have them as a source of any kind of inspiration. At some point, they will arrive announced anyway. It is just a matter whether you will be able to use them as something that will produce meaningful writing or something that will force you to abandon writing completely. Everybody should certainly hope it will be the former.
To learn more about me, please check my LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/profile/preview?locale=en_US&trk=prof-0-sb-preview-primary-button.