Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Writing to Music

I was wondering how many of us write to music?

Sometimes, when Kelly and I are writing at the kitchen table, she'll have Pandora on and we'll listen to Irish music while we work on our current projects.

In the past, I've listened to all sorts of music while writing. I like Irish, Gaelic, French, Italian (Zucchero is a favorite of both Kelly and me), and South American. I've listened to classical and classic rock while writing. I like Louis Armstrong and Peggy Lee. Sometimes the music sets the mood. Sometimes the music is background that helps me focus on what I'm feeling while I write.

Next question- how many of you sing along while you're writing? It's amazing to me how the brain can do three or more things at one time- allow you to sing to a familiar song, follow a train of thought, and type the words of that train of thought as you're belting out the words of the song you're listening to (without typos!) And maybe you're thinking about other things simultaneously, like what to make for dinner, calculating when the wash needs to be transferred to the dryer, or when you're going to find time to run out and put gas in the car because you've been driving around on fumes and have an appointment or meeting tomorrow.

Sometimes writers really flex their brains!

When I'm driving in my car on the way to work, on the way home, while running errands, or whatever-I listen to all kinds of music on CDs, never the radio. The radio annoys me with its constant interruptions so it's kind of pointless in my car other than the fact that it's connected to the CD player. While driving and listening, ideas for stories often come into my head and the little spiders in my brain start busily weaving story webs upon which characters dangle waiting to be set into motion by the movement and flow of their unique story.

I don't think there's a writer anywhere who can turn off the flow of creativity. There's no main switch you can throw to halt it. Even when there's a power outage (writer's block), it's like there's a little generator thrumming in the background providing the energy a writer needs to move forward again and reconnect to the grid in their brain. This is usually when contact with other authors and writers becomes an asset because the little generator within the stalled writer/author can draw power from the creative energy authors and writers exude when in contact with one another.

I attended a writer's coffeehouse once. I was late arriving, but the moment I walked through the door it was as if I walked through a shimmery curtain into a ion-charged atmosphere that danced across my skin and worked its way inside, flipping switches and lighting me up.

Anyway-these are today's thoughts.

The final thought is that as a member of Artworks Westfield I have become acquainted with some talented local musicians. I'm thinking that it would be cool to have a group write-in, maybe during the January doldrums, with an acoustic guitarist playing, or a violinist, fiddler, keyboard player, rhythmic drummer, piper (my brother-in-law has a whole collection of recorders and wind instruments he plays) or whatever...just to see what sort of inspiration strikes when writing meets music.


  1. I like music in the back round when I write. Classical or semi-classical gets my mind going.

  2. I am constantly playing music while writing. It definitely helps set the mood in the story, plus it's a fun way to get into the writing zone. And because of that I am so guilty of singing along while writing, lol.