How Music Pulled Me From Nothingness by Heather Novak

I’ve been staring at my computer screen for months, waiting for words to come. Any words. A blog, a song, a poem, a silly kids book, the books I have editors waiting for…anything.

The beginning of October was one of the happiest weeks of my life when I married the love of my life. The day after we returned from our honeymoon, everything went into a downward spiral into the darkest my life has ever been. For months, everything revolved around trips to the hospital, talking to hospice and doctors several times a day, then funeral arrangements, and finally, grief. Suddenly, my mom was gone. Then my dear friend. Then my baby cousin, two days after her wedding.  

I have experienced close and personal loss before, which was followed by writer’s block, but this was vastly different. I was in a downward tailspin into total nothingness.

My day job as a ghostwriter was an hourly struggle – heck, a per-minute struggle – and was made even worse when a coworker broke off our friendship mere days after I returned to work after the funeral. I couldn’t find solace in work or in writing.

For months, I thought I was done being a writer.

Then, I heard an interview from Josh Ramsay, lead singer of Marianas Trench and everything changed. (MT is a Canadian rock band that creates brilliant concept albums and you need them in your life.) Josh, in addition to writing for MT, co-writes songs for other artists (best known for Call Me Maybe.) But after the breakup with his fiancee and his mother becoming very ill, his words dried up, too.

In his interview, he says, “I couldn’t write, I couldn’t write anything. And then I spent about six months in the total dark…”

 I cried, because that’s exactly what I was feeling. He continued to say eventually the creativity came back and he couldn’t get the ideas down fast enough. 


I probably watched the interview like six times, then when I woke up the next day, I saw a glimmer behind my own darkness. I realized the darkness was not a black hole, but a thick, opaque veil. I played the Astoria and Ever After albums from cover to cover, then searched out a lot of the live music (thank you cellphone cameras and YouTube!). The following day when I woke up, I had the opening paragraph for a book I wanted to write.

Yeah, okay, it was just one paragraph, BUT IT WAS ONE PARAGRAPH! The veil snapped back in place, but not before I understood that it was temporary. 

The following day, I wrote 520 words. Then after, I added a few more. Am I back to writing 1500 to 2000 words an hour? Not even a little bit. But it’s amazing to not be living in a void anymore.

So, Josh and MT, while you don’t know me from Crazy Fangirl #346984750845, thank you for getting me through one of the worst months of my life.

Here’s an a cappella cover of my favorite MT song, Porcelain. My favorite line, “When your heart releases/you won’t fall to pieces/let those old disease lie…”

And here is my favorite MT video to date – one word: PUPPIES.

Thanks for reading, NoP friends.



On this day in 1925 – Rosario Castellanos was born. She was a Mexican poet and author, known for her work dealing with cultural and gender oppression, considered one of Mexico’s most important literary figures of the 20th century (d. 1974)


Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,BannerWithInfo_ForWeb
Heather Novak
Find me at:
Twitter: authorheathern
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Facebook: authorheathernovak

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About Heather Novak, Author

Bewitching romance with a bold twist. Focusing on powerful imagery and emotional storytelling – you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh so hard you’ll cry. Only Happily Ever Afters allowed.
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