I am a big proponent of listening to inspiring music when you write. Depending on the writing, be it a romance, adventure, or thriller, the music you listen to should be a compliment to that style. For my romantic pieces I usually listen to classical, or what’s considered new age — wordless. For the spy script I’m currently writing, the music has been a bit more intense — sometimes without words, but with a harder sound (Depeche Mode and Muse have a few wordless pieces that are great for writing to), or some techno and rock. I’ve also created playlists based on tv shows or movies I’ve liked with similar interests like La Femme Nikita and Alias for my spy script, or Pride & Prejudice and A Single Man for my more romantic pieces. Just think about what music has done for you in your life. You hear a song and can be reminded of your childhood sweetheart, your grandparents, graduating high school, or taking a road trip. I have a few songs that remind me of backpacking through Europe, because I only took two tapes (yes, tapes) for six weeks. Or when you hear a song you saw in a movie and are right back in that moment and its corresponding emotions. I mean who doesn’t want to cry whenever they hear a Sarah McLachlan song? Music is powerful. It inspires. And it brings people together.
I know some writers that must have quiet when they write, but I find the silence more distracting, and depending on the time of day, and your writing environment, the outside noises can be more intrusive and a major concentration breaker. I’ve created multiple playlists on both iTunes and YouTube that I can go to depending on the particular piece I’m working on. And YouTube is great (and a time sucker) for sharing other music similar to that which you’ve just listened to. And I love being introduced to new stuff, so when LitReactor shared this article, 9 Great Albums to Accompany Your Writing Process, I was immediately intrigued, and found a few new pieces to add to the collection.
I like the symbiotic nature of writing with music. I have been given strong visuals to pieces I’m working on when listening to certain music. I remember writing this romantic period piece while listening to Enya, The Sun in the Stream, in particular. She is my go to artist when I write. It was a series of visuals; walking through a vast golden field, a wild castle garden, and two men in a castle courtyard practicing with swords while a woman lingered above watching. Still to this day, whenever I hear this song, I see these images.
Everyone has their method, and if you’re a writer who likes the silence and it works for you, then don’t let me tell you otherwise. For me personally, music is so much a part of my life, in every aspect, that it is only natural for me to listen and be inspired further. I only wish I was better at playing music myself.
Have a good week and best of luck in your writing endeavors! And thank you to ItalyEnya for the upload!
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