Monday, June 23, 2008

Music To Soothe The Savage Beast

I write in silence.

Sometimes I can have the television on in the background, but that’s rare, and only if it is something that I am utterly uninterested in watching. Even then, I’m usually distracted by flashy lights and Swiffer commercials.

I love music, and I’ve tried to write to music. I even went so far as to put together a wicked playlist of songs that I thought would speak to my muse, the inner bad ass Immortal warrior-a lot of Kanye and MIMS, and my fave, Fifty. But it turns out that I got distracted by the rap music as well. Too much singing, and not enough typing. And that of course, proved that I have no bad ass warrior in me. Because you truly don’t want the visual of me movin’ to the beat.

So then I thought maybe I should try something a little less booming, and a little more calming, something that would blend into the background and simply act as a way to relieve the stress and tension, and allow me to focus on the writing. I picked out some Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart and Beethoven; classical compositions that both moved me, and yet seemed soft and soothing. It didn’t really work either.

You see, I move to the beat of the music—doesn’t matter what kind (except maybe country; with country I just want to cry). Music penetrates to my soul and I’m lost in it. And that’s nice, I appreciate the gift that I’ve been given (especially since I don’t actually have the gift of making music of any kind—at least not that you would want to hear), but it doesn’t help me when what I need is to be lost in my story and my characters.

And so, I write in silence, listening only to the voices inside my head.

*creepy, huh?*

What is it you do to keep the ideas flowing? Are you helped or hindered by a rockin’ playlist?

10 comments:

Maggie Robinson said...

I write in quiet too. A couple of years ago, I downloaded a very strange mix of tunes which I sang along to---not sure it helped anything. I try to write in the morning when I'm fresher and read later for inspiration. Lately I've been dreaming about my characters, so I'm expecting a big breakthrough, LOL. 25,000 words to go!

Maria Zannini said...

I need absolute silence in order to hear the voices in my head.

But when I'm plotting (read: daydreaming) I sometimes like mood music. I usually don't write when I'm plotting, I just run the scenario through my head.

J.K. Coi said...

Maggie, I can't believe you only have 25,000 to go! This writing in the morning really works for you. Too bad I'm never going to try it. But I'm more of a night owl than an early bird.

J.K. Coi said...

Maria, I totally understand what you mean about the plotting/daydreaming thing. I kinda tend to do it the same way. In the car I'll set the radio on, or sometimes after I go to bed I'll play some music on my cd player and listen until I fall asleep, and that's when my characters get all chatty in my head.

Elyssa Papa said...

I write... not in silence. I have yet to come up with a good playlist for TWTIA, but I definitely like listening to music when I write. I played LAYLOM's playlist ad nauseum when I was writing the last half, and the music helped me write faster. Maybe it was also because I had the TV off. Hmmmm...

Amy Ruttan said...

Can't write in quiet.

The voices scare me. Well, actually the voices piss me off most of the time.

I need music for my muse or tv in the background.

J.K. Coi said...

Ely, I know what you mean about keeping the television off. There isn't much on to watch anyway, so it shouldn't be as hard as it is.

J.K. Coi said...

Amy, two rugrats will give you plenty of background noise too I bet!

Shelley Munro said...

I can write through anything. I've trained myself to write while watching TV so I can spend time with hubby and insert an appropriate um into the conversation. I write in cafes, with music and in silence. After a while I tune out and don't hear anything except my characters.

J.K. Coi said...

Shelley, you're very lucky that you're able to do that. Did it take practice and training, or was it something that you've always been able to do then?