One of my Plinky Prompts today was "Write about the experience that got you into writing".
Ironic, because this has been on my mind a lot this week. What got me writing was Kelly Clarkson. More specifically, what got me writing was Kelly Clarkson's album My December. Which has recently been in the news again due to Clive Davis being a total tool.
Incase you haven't heard, Clive Davis release a memoir. In this memoir, he spends time talking about Miss Clarkson. He said some pretty nasty things, that are probably untrue, based on Kelly's response. Above everything, though, what made me the most mad was that he tried to bring down My December. He stated “My December” wasn't successful because she co-wrote it and it lacked pop hits.
Let me just tell you a little something about My December. It is Kelly's most honest album. She co-wrote it, and did a beautiful job. It is her diary to the world. It's a bit darker, sure, but in a way that allows listeners to feel what she felt, and to maybe define some of their own emotions. Kelly has said before, in many interviews, how personal that album was for her. She talks about her battle with depression and eating disorders, and how writing this album saved her. My three all time favorite Kelly songs come from this album (Irvine/Chivas, Maybe, and Sober).
What does this have to do with my writing? Child, please. It has everything to do with my writing. You see, the day "My December" dropped, I was in the middle of a really dark period. I was depressed, lonely, scared. I didn't know how to feel, how to think, or what to do. It was the summer of 2007. I had just wrapped up my sophomore year of college. The absolute, hands down, worst year of my life. A year so bad I can't even remember mot of it, because I have blocked it out of my memory. A year I wish I could erase completely. By the time the album came out, I was numb. I still have a very clear picture of going to buy that album. I was on my way to my summer job at the time and stopped at Target. I went in, got the album, put it in my car's CD player. By track three (Hole), I was sobbing. The song starts with this "Tired of everything around me, I smile I don't feel a thing. I'm so far from where I need to be, I've given up on faith, on everything. All I want, all I need, is some peace.". I couldn't believe it- that was exactly how I had felt. I had totally turned away from God at that point, and I was just so tired of fighting.
The rest of the album continued to resignate with me. I had never felt so attached to music before. I related to every single song on a such a deep, personal level. I felt like she was in my head. It was really sort of comforting to know that someone else felt the same way I did, and that she was brave enough to write about it and share it with the world.
That's when I started writing. I had always enjoyed writing before, and English was my favorite class through elementary and high school. But that album is what got me sitting down, journaling, letting my negative thoughts of out of my head and onto paper. It empowered me and gave me the ability to figure out my feelings and what to do with them.
I know this sounds cliche but I honestly believe that that album was the start of a brand new life for me. I changed because of it. I was stronger because of it. I wrote because of it. So Clive, maybe it didn't sell as much as other Kelly records has, but it saved at least one life. That defines success, in my eyes.
I hope I never have to feel as low as I did in 2007. I am forever grateful that I was able to pull out of it and become a stronger person. There's a reason why Kelly is my favorite female artist of all time, and that reason is My December. It's only gotten better since then, but that will always be my favorite album for personal reasons....and for the fact that it made me start writing.