Writing To the Music

Music.

Almost everyone loves it.  It is another form of artwork.  Musicians are as much artists as we writers are.  They just create something different.

Two forms of art.  Do they clash?  Do they make the perfect union?  Can they inspire each other?  Well, I don’t know much about writing inspiring music, but I do know that music inspires writing.

For some.

For others, it’s just noise, noise that distracts them from their purpose.

I was like that at first.  I didn’t know how I could write my first best-seller (not that I have) without stopping every ten seconds to pay attention to the music.  Mouthing words, little dance moves from my seat, head-bobbing.  Just generally focusing on music rather than my own creation before me.

But I decided to give it a try.  I’d seen other people talk about how they love to listen to music, so I figured if I didn’t try it, I’d never know either way.  So I did.

At that time I didn’t have that much music.  Probably about twenty songs or so that I’d bought with my iTunes gift card for myself.  So I was very limited, though I loved each song I owned.  We ended up going to visit my massive family in Ohio for Thanksgiving, so I was provided with several hours to work on my NaNoWriMo novel, the second one in the series.  I must have gone through my playlist fifty times on that trip, and thankfully never got tired of it.

I discovered that I do enjoy writing to music.  It helps me close out the world so that I don’t get distracted by siblings, parents, radio, or anything else.  Sometimes even the music fades in the background, and I can completely focus on my writing, and burn through a good portion of the story.

There are some times, of course, depending on my mood, when music tends to distract me more.  But, being the stubborn girl I am, I refuse to take out my headphones.

Of course, there’s the question of what is the best genre music to write to.  Personally, I enjoy Christian rock. Christian pop, and Zac Brown, with a touch of One Direction, AJR, and Taylor Swift.  Yes, I listen to them while I write.  Are they the best songs to write to?  Well, I suppose it depends on what I’m writing and how in-tune I am to the music.  If I’m listening to something like Shake It Off and trying to write a dramatic death scene, well, I don’t that would really work.  But if I’m trying to write an inspiring uprising of an oppressed people, Rise by Skillet might be a good one!

We can separate songs into two sources of inspiration.  There’s the actual music; the beat, the tune, and the feeling.  Then there are the lyrics.  Lyrics can actually inspire whole stories, but I’ll save that for a later post. 😉

The songs without lyrics, like movie soundtracks or classical music, are probably better when you really want to focus on a specific scene.  I’ve never tried it, but I have heard of other people only listening to soundtracks while writing.  The only soundtrack I have is from Star Wars, and I never think to play it.  I should definitely try it.

What about you?  Is there any music you enjoy writing to?  Post in the comments!

This is The Raven, off in search of Inspiration.

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