A-Z Writer's Toolbox: Music


A to Z Disclaimer:

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!

~EJW~      






20 comments:

  1. One of my favorite movie soundtracks is Last of the Mohicans, but sometimes I can't listen to it because it's just too powerful. Hmmm, I wonder if it would work for me today.

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  2. Hey Lisa! I love that one too! Some of the choral arrangements on that soundtrack are breathtaking.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    EJ

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  3. I listened to all your music and enjoyed all your choices. I can listen to classical or anything without lyrics while I write, but the minute a disc-jockey or ad comes on I'm ruined and I have to stop writing.

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  4. Music when I'm writing is a must. The Lord of the Rings soundtrack or anything Celtic works well.

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  5. Yay, thanks for the intro to the new music! I haven't heard any of those songs :D

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  6. Yay, thanks for the intro to the new music! I haven't heard any of those songs :D

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  7. I was not a fan of Hanna the movie, but I agree that the soundtrack was awesome!

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  8. Good stuff! I've gotten some good writing done to The New World soundtrack, as well.

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  9. I listen to music when I'm grading papers and cleaning, but for writing - for some reason the music is a distraction. Silence speaks to me.

    Bu-ut I do have songs that get me in the mood to write, but they're usually what I call theme songs for my novels. Simple Minds "Don't you forget about me" always inspires. :)

    Great post!

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  10. I like to listen to music when I write. I like to make up playlists for projects I'm working on.

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  11. I find film soundtracks are the best music to write to. Favourites are Bladerunner, Last of the Mohicans, Interlude. I could go on!

    Loved this post and glad to have met you through A to Z.

    Ellie Garratt

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  12. One of my favorite movie soundtracks is Hero. Great movie. Amazing music.

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  13. A very good topic for writers, and thanks! I recently came across a new song that might have a story in it - Chely Wright's "Notes to the Coroner", about a woman who writes down a message to explain that she's died of a broken heart.

    If I were writing that story, I'd change it around, so that she's a paranoid and worried about spies poisoning her or other mysterious plots against her life.

    I'm starting up a 'Critiquing Crusaders' program, where participants in the Second Crusade can find other writers to exchange critiques with or form critiquing circles. If you're interested, come by The Kelworth Files to check it out!

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  14. All great choices. I don't really listen to music when I'm writing. I know I can practically hear others *gasp* in reaction, but I love the quiet the early morning hours bring me....it's whisper soft and my muse loves it.

    But, your suggestion to use music when I'm stuck is a great one. I've never thought of that. I love the soundtrack to the Gladiator. I think I'll play it the next time my muse doesn't want to come out and play.

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  15. if I'm trying to get things done, the music can't have word, or I'll sing along with it and get nothing accomplished

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  16. I definitely love listening to soundtracks when I'm writing, and it depends on what I'm writing. Last of the Mohicans is brilliant for that, a lot of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith too, and the list can go on and on....

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  17. Hi,

    Thanks for introducing me to your music, but I need complete silence for writing. One of these days I'll try playing music softly while writing and see!

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  18. Excellent musical composition you have here sir! I enjoyed the music that was on Game of Thrones last night too. So good to have a buddy who I can chat about the series with. I agree that the wolf pups were done extremely well. My favorite part was just how well everything looked. The costumes, the design, the detail. It was done top-notch in full HBO style.

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