That’s happened to me, and when I struggle to get the words down on paper, I often turn to music.
I have heard from some other writers that music disrupts their creative flow. I like listening to it while I write. There’s something very soothing about the right melody. It has to be non-invasive though, because I still need space to think. I don’t always listen to music – I’m equally fine writing without it – but sometimes I need a helping hand. I find it particularly hard to concentrate when there’s noise all around me, and when I need to write in those distracting areas, I find I must stick on my earphones to drown out the peripheral noise.
Music dulls my other senses, attunes me into one thing: the melody. When I write, that’s all I hear and if it’s background noise, it becomes a very complementary writing tool for me. For the session to be the most effective, I must listen to the least intrusive music I can find. On my music device, I have a playlist called ‘Chill Music’. There I find, and regularly select, Zero 7: my go to band for easy tunes.
I have another playlist on my music player called ‘Inspirational’. These are my favourite music scores that inspire me to write; film scores that excited me when I heard them first on the big screen and push me on when I want to pen emotionally charged scenes. My genre is Dystopian Science Fiction, so naturally my inspirational play list contains a few science fiction films: Hans Zimmer, Dream within a Dream from the movie Inception and Suzanne Sundfor, Oblivion for the film with the same name. I think of how I felt when I first heard them and I want to bring that same energy to my work.
I start to imagine my character/s in various scenarios and try to match the music to the scene. He/she might be in danger or just in a deep, difficult conversation with someone else. The right music can help me to dramatise the scene more effectively. Not always, but sometimes. Film scores aren’t necessary for me to put words to paper, but they do inspire me. Plus, I enjoy them. They give me energy and remind me that there is an end goal: to have a product I can stand over and be proud of.
Sometimes we all need a helping hand when it’s difficult to find the right zone in which we write most effectively. Music works to create balance in my mind so I can forget about everything around me and concentrate on the important task: getting something that I can edit down on paper.
How about you? Do you write with music?
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