Like all craftspeople, writers need to keep a bag of tricks handy. A set of tools for the job (writing), if you will. Some of these traits or tools are obvious--like the need to have a hide as thick as a brick, for instance. Some are not. This month, I've been challenged to do a post every day of the week (excluding Sunday) that begins with a letter of the alphabet. I'm going to use this challenge to examine some of those necessary writing tools, both conventional and not. Hold on to your #2 pencil, here we go!
NOTE: I've added a page dedicated to my A to Z Writer's Toolbox posts. I figured I'd soon have a bunch of these things and it'll make it easier for you to browse any of the letters you might have missed. You can find a link to the page under the, "MORE STUFF" heading at the top of the right-hand column of this page.
M is for music
Those of you who have been with me for a while probably know how much I adore music. Especially when it comes to my writing. I'm always on the lookout for new 'writing' music, and my personal taste dictates that it should be mostly instrumental. (Too many words bumping around in my brain can distract me from the writing.) That's probably why I'm so fond of movie scores as writing music.
My musical choices don't always have to coincide with the type of scene I'm writing (action, drama, etc.) but it sometimes helps if I'm stuck. In fact, that's the reason I'm recommended that you put a few tunes in your writing toolbox. Perhaps the largest obstacle to becoming a career writer is the need to write every day, even when you don't feel like it. That's what it takes to move your writing from 'Serious Hobby' territory into the land of "I Bleed Words for a Living."
For me, it's hard to flip a switch when I'm not feeling inspired so I've developed a few artificial ways of getting in the mood. Ways to romance my soul, if you will. Music is the chief way I do this, but sometimes I'll take a movie break or go for a run or walk. I know some writers who light scented candles or do writing exercises. Regardless of how you do it, you need to develop ways to stimulate your muse even when she'd rather be sleeping.
I'll leave you with some of my current favorite writing tunes, and welcome any suggestions from the audience. Hope you enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!