No matter what I write, I have to figure out if I want to listen to music or not. Sometimes silence works, especially when I write blog posts or essays. Other times music enhances my writing experience. I’ve mentioned about how music can help bring inspiration. Why does music seem to be the best for my creativity? I believe it’s because music has been so much a part of my life. As I’ve grown as a writer, I’ve noticed that other writers try to figure out if music works for them.
There are some who pick out the music they want to listen to before they decide to start writing. Such as a playlist of songs that work with the story. Maybe a set of music from soundtracks or film scores. It gives a background tone while they are writing. It’s like a film. You can watch the whole thing without music, and it still makes sense, but it’s the music that really enhances. Without words, instrumental music can create a mood for a scene, or create subtext of what is going on. Other times songs with lyrics can add a bit of understanding to the characters in the story. Music also triggers previous experiences, such as the first time you heard the song to the lyrics connecting some how to your life. You can connect music to your story by finding what songs work best, or sometimes you just hear a song and it seems to work. Either way, having music can not only inspire you but keep you focused in your writing. Then later that music can become the soundtrack for your story, which could make the experience just as great for your readers.
For example, for my novel I have a playlist (that I can continually add) through Spotify where I can just listen to the music while I’m writing, or just give me inspiration. I just recently learned about Songza where you can make decisions on what kind of music to listen to. A bit like Pandora, but better. I’ve even listened to the score of the TV show Sherlock while writing a fanfic to emerge myself more into the story. Frequently music can soak into the story that it becomes something important to the characters. It can be a song that they dance to, or a song that they are listening to in the background. I enjoy adding a connection to music into my stories, even my fanfiction. The story may be fiction, but characters have to have something realistic about them. Some thing that makes them relatable to the reader, and I believe music can be an important factor.
Other times silence is the only way that we can really focus on what we’re writing. It makes our brain focus on the most important thing at hand, which is figuring out what words to put down on the page. It also gives us an empty slate to use our imagination to its full potential. Each writer has their own way of judging what works best while they are writing. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can use both interchangeably, like I do, but it determines what we’re writing and/or how we’re feeling at the moment. Sometimes I feel like listening to music while I’m writing, and every once and awhile, silence works for me.
Which ever you choose isn’t important, as long as it helps you. If it does for a while, and then it doesn’t, all you have to do is change something. It can be the type of music. It can be as simple as switching between music to silence or silence to music. If that doesn’t work, then taking a break for a bit and just listen to music, or focus on something else, can help. That’s what I’ve learned from experience.