A creative writing student asked me this afternoon what book I'd read that had influenced my fiction writing the most. The answer came tumbling out, easy as you please:
Waylon GD Jennings' autobiography. And it's the absolute truth. Anyone who knows me at all knows I have an obsession with Waylon; it's like some people with the Beatles (who I do not care for, at all)--I know every period of his career, can track the changes in style . . .
But how has he affected my writing? Well, I listen to him all the time, for one. Along with Johnny Cash, and the Highwaymen. And the stories within the songs are inspiration. The autobiography itself has a great voice--I can hear Waylon talking and telling his stories, though I'm sure his co-author "cleaned it up" a bit.
Mostly, though, I reckon it was/is Waylon's fuck-it-all, I'm-doing-things-my-way attitude with his music, his passion. It inspires me to attempt the same with my stories, to not cater to convention or trends or publishers and the industry, but to try and be unique, while still having respect for and a connection to those weird tales/horror writers before me, like Waylon did for Hank and Jimmie Rodgers and all.
Finally, he had his demons and God knows I've got mine. Thank the Lord for the creative outlets he provided for Waylon and provides for me. Getting things out is a good thing.