I’ve tweeted about this before – I need dark depressing music to write. The fact is music is a necessity for me to write. My family is used to seeing me typing away with my shocking pink headphones on my head.
It doesn’t sound strange at all, except for the fact that even when my character is gleefully prancing through the forest with a bunch of lovable bunny rabbits, I’m listening to the “Unforgiven” from Metallica.
Music inspires me. It delves deep into my soul and brings forth a myriad of emotions which I diligently plough back into my writing. It sparks my imagination and creates new stories in my head. Let’s face it – inspiration and creativity are very important to any writer. Some writers even describe it as essential to good fiction writing.
Do all writers need to listen to music that could drive a normal person to suicide? No. You should find the music that inspires you. I’ve found a few practical tips while researching the inspirational value of music:
– Avoid music that you can sing along to. Apparently it will distract you from writing. You will be too busy having your own karaoke party and spend less time honing your craft. Do I agree? No, no, no! I need to listen to the words of a song. I need to feel it, experience the emotions. What is the purpose of a song if I can’t sing along? I don’t spend the whole day singing, I usually wait until the family is not at home before letting it loose. My singing is not that good.
– Choose music that fit the genre and the mood. Now we are getting back to the bunny rabbits and prancing through the forest. Upbeat music doesn’t inspire me to write light hearted pieces. Emotional music inspires me to write with emotion. It doesn’t matter if my character is sad or happy or in the throes of exhilaration. Music draws out the emotions in me and I am able to use them in any way necessary for what my character needs at that moment. Does music that fit the genre mean that I can only listen to zombie music while writing about zombies? Convulsing to rave music doesn’t give me a deeper insight to the teenage psyche. I’ve listened to “The way you lie” from Rihanna while writing about alien invasion. Again, find the music that inspire you.
– Use music to block out everyone around you. Now I agree. Writing with a household of noisy kids, their friends, pets, music, phones…You get the point. I need to block out the noise and to create my own private space where I can be alone with my thoughts. Hence the pink earphones. When I put them on I’m in my own world and I can create.
– Use music to combat writers block and to challenge yourself. I found a wonderful website http://www.writingforward.com/category/better-writing where there is a whole piece dedicated on how to use music to challenge you. Basically you choose a song and use it to write a short story. It’s a great idea to use music to practice your skill.
The advice I would give to you – don’t just listen to music. REALLY listen to it. Take in the words, own it and find the emotion inside yourself. Let it make you a better writer. It doesn’t matter if it’s LMFAO or Coldplay, the only important thing is finding the inspiration and using it.