Anyone who knows me knows that I love Hamilton. It’s hard not to, considering I regularly burst into verse when something someone says reminds me of a line to one of the songs. For anyone who doesn’t know me, Hamilton is a broadway musical about the American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. There’s dramaand rapping and a rebellion. Basically all of my favourite things.
That’s why, when my friend Serena bought me the Hamiltome for my 17th birthday, I just about lost my mind.
See, the Hamiltome is basically a giant tome of wonderful nerdy details about the musical, from the beginning of the concept all the way to its completion, plus all of the lyrics, with footnotes.
From the very first time I listened to Hamilton, I felt inspired. And I don’t use that word lightly. Hamilton might be a musical, but it’s still a story. A story told with such ingenuity and skill it’s hard not to be inspired by it.Creativity is an infinite resource, sure, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be cared for. Sometimes you need to feed the well, and Hamilton is the everything burrito of the creative well.
Some part of my mind will always be tempted to imagine some kind of wizardry when faced with things like Hamilton. It’s easier to pretend that it’s magic then to face then that it was built out hard work and passion and time. Lots and lots of time.
That’s where the Hamiltome comes in. It forces you to face up to the fact that Hamilton took dozens of people and thousands of hours and gruelling hard work to create.
Good things don’t come easy, and art seems to be hell bent on proving that to anyone brave enough to try.
I’m in the middle of editing TOWED right now, and I really needed to the reminder. I’ve taken to rewarding every chapter I edit with a chapter of the Hamiltome. It’s the best kind of vicious circle, because every chapter of the Hamiltome I read inspires me to edit another chapter of TOWED, and so on and so forth. It’s the kind of hungry work that made me start writing in the first place. Where every second away from my current project feels a weird kind of painful.
So now I’ll leave you, with a quote from Alexander Hamilton himself, and a hope that you’ll all find a hunger for your work this week.