Write to the Beat…

A certain someones were asking me about writing to music and whether I did it or not. It gave me pause, because I don’t hear about a lot of writers creating pages while listening to tunes.

It also made me think because when I’m writing novels, I almost always have music going. Sometimes I do set my music to the mood of the part of the story I’m working on. And yes, if it’s action, I usually have some up-tempo beats going, or if I’m going dark, I have a lot of instrumental somber stuff I plug in.

A few of my characters have their own theme music–tunes which I started playing while writing on their characters or while their story unfolded on the page and it’s funny how I associate the songs with them.

On the other hand, I also put on headphones and crank up the volume, and I believe it becomes my white noise to tune the rest of the world out. I’ve been scared in my seat a few times by either my wife or my son walking in, trying to get my attention, but I was so absorbed in the screen and a scene running through my head, I jumped when they got too close or actually touched me.

It’s like being unplugged suddenly.

On the flip side, a friend of mine found out I write to music regularly, and she suggested listening to white noise (Youtube has their channels), because in some senses, I do believe the music does provide a white noise for me, shutting out other sounds and distractions, while giving me a tempo to sync with. However, I tried the white noise a couple of times and it actually interfered with my creative juices. It distracted me to the point it annoyed me.

So, there’s something else going on, leading me to believe the music does help set the tempo and helps the muse take over.

Curiously, when I’m writing short stories, I realized I don’t often write to music. At least not the shorter pieces. I’m not sure why, but Ron and Deidre at Mannison Press did a mini-interview and gleaned that piece of information out of me. I didn’t even realize it until they asked and I stopped to think about it. Don’t know if I’m in a different mental place writing short stories, or if I don’t need to disconnect as much to get them out, or something else, but I find it interesting.

I’m curious if other writers tend to like complete quiet, music or something else. I’ve always been fascinated by the psychology of writing–any art for that matter, because it’s a very complex process.

I’ll leave you with the latest tune I found . . . called Congregation by a group called Low. I found it while watching DEVs on Hulu. It’s just good…

Craig

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