Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Music can psyche you up

So, lately I've been freaking out about Florence + The Machine. There's just something about Florence Welch's voice that melts my bones. I mean, just listen to Drumming Song. There's no rhyme or reason to it, but that song reminds me so much of my WIP.

A lot of songs remind me of my WIP though. I kind of have it on the brain at all times. But I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. Writers in general like to find songs that fit their stories, be it because of the lyrics or the mood of the music. Some writers stick to soundtracks because they find vocals distracting, and others need the passion of a voice.

While I adore soundtracks, I usually write to angry rock music. Despite being a semi-epic fantasy, my current WIP has been primarily composed to the dulcet tones of The OffspringRedFlyleaf, and Shinedown. And yes, I have been asked how I can focus on writing with angry rock music playing in the background. Do I have an answer to this question? Not really.

But music is important though. It  can set a mental mood or propel you through a difficult scene. In fact, if you don't write to music, it might be a good idea to start.

Why? Well, if you start listening to specific song while writing, that music will become a kind of trigger: your brain will start associating it with your writing, which is kind of awesome. That way, if you want to pump yourself up for the work to come, you can do all sorts of things while listening to your soundtrack. Cook breakfast, clean your house, buy groceries--all while prepping your brain for writing! Then, when it's time to sit down, you're already in the zone!

So what kind of music do you write to? Instrumental? Angry rock? Florence + The Machine? By some strange coincidence do we write to the same music?! Or do you think I'm insane? Tell me in the comments.


Brenna Braaten said...

Yes! To everything!

You know I write to music. You know I write to angry rock sometimes too. I don't really make soundtracks though. I should. I always find songs that fit really well and then I forget them and discover them months later and am like, "Oh yeah!" Silly Brenna.

But while I enjoy background noise, I do understand there are some people who like the silence. Music allows me to tune out other distractions, but for some music IS the distraction, so I can see why they use silence. I think it also depends on where you are. Music in a noisy cafe could be a good thing while music at home might distract more. I think it's a personal choice.

Sarah Robertson said...

I don't really make soundtracks, I guess. It's more like a playlist or a mixtape!

And I don't disagree that some people like silence better. I just think it might help them to try listening to music. Maybe it'll decrease their productivity for a while, but I don't doubt that it would go back up again.

Jackie said...

I can't listen to music and write at the same time. The music distracts me and before I know it, I'm day dreaming I'm a rockstar and not a writer! This is bad because I lack any sort of musical talent. But, there are some tunes that that when I listen to it my mind starts brewing ideas! Song by Abney Park typically inspire me. They tell some pretty neat stories, and love the music.

Sarah Robertson said...

Haha, maybe I'm just really good at tuning things out while writing? Either way, at least we can agree that music can be awesome and inspirational!

I've never heard of Abney Park, but when my YouTube search results start with airship pirates, I'm definitely interested. Thanks for sharing! >:D

Brad Jaeger said...

David Bowie
Marilyn Manson
Tom Waits
Elvis Costello
Amanda Palmer

Have all done wonders for my writing. I love The Offspring, but I couldn't write to them, unless it was more of their mellow stuff (acoustic version of Dirty Magic, Gone Away, parts of Rise & Fall, Rage and Grace, etc.)

Kate Robertson said...

I found having a song or soundtrack that signals now its time to write has been especially helpful when during Nano. Also when I am in a cafe, music is helpful to drown out everyone else. Sometimes its an instrumental like the soundtrack from National Treasure or upbeat like Muse's Uprising. I think if you think you can't have music on when writing perhaps you need to try a different kind.

I also think that when you suggest some one try something new like listening to music, they have a strong resistance to the idea. They may try it once and think no I can't concentrate, when they need to be open to the idea and give it a chance.

Sarah Robertson said...

Ooo, great list there. I definitely approve! :)

Haha, and The Offspring songs that I'm writing to right now are actually from Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace!

Sarah Robertson said...

I'm half and half on soundtracks. For example, The Hours has lovely, melodic piano pieces that are perfect for an ethereal sort of scene. But I could never write to Lord of the Rings because I can't distinguish those soundtracks from the movies.

I agree with your second point though. It's best to try something out more than once before completely disregarding it. :)

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