Monday, August 13, 2012
What Do You "Groove to" When You're in the Writing Groove?
“Music soothes the savage beast.”---Anonymous
When a writing colleague called me (early in the a.m.), some time ago, he seemed shocked at what he encountered.
Blaring in the background at night-club-level, was some hot jazz music that served to jump start my day and stir my creative juices.
Baffled, he asked, “How can you work with all that NOISE?”
Tickled, I assured him that it wasn’t ” noise“, and that soul-stirring music, for me, is the equivalent of a good jolt of caffeine for other folks.
It all depends on where my head is at.
Though I tend to be very ritualistic and structured in my daily habits, my music “fix” varies, depending upon my mood, the season, the type of writing, and what kind of week I‘ve had.
For example, if the writing assignment requires great attention to detail, I’m more inclined to opt for instrumental selections. Why?
I find that songs with catchy lyrics and a good beat, tend to have me wanting to sing along and “shake my groove thang.” And needless to say, that can be distracting and counterproductive. So I need to take a pass....thank you!
Conversely, when I need to experience a sense of calm, I truly dig classical.
Beethoven ‘s Fifth captures the beauty and divinity of simple pleasures, and often brings me to tears.
Tchaikovsky works as well.
How about you?
Some artists prefer to create in an atmosphere of solitude, while others enjoy the stimulation that music provides. As a matter of reference, as I type this piece, I am jamming to John Legend’s hit song, “Tonight”.
Other favorites include: Norah Jones, Anita Baker, India Arie, The Beach Boys, Phyllis Hyman, Kenny G, Michael Bolton, and Old Motown Classics.
I posed the question to a few writers and bloggers in my circle, and here’s what they had to say:
"No way, I cannot listen to music while I write. Music pulls me in and lifts me to whatever place and circumstance the singer is describing. Even when music is a beautiful distraction, it's a distraction nonetheless. I need complete silence to write.
However, I do listen to music before I write. It sets the mood I need to reach depending on the mood I wish to convey in my piece. If I need to convey rebellion and a little fire in the belly, I listen to Kelly Clarkson or the Dixie Chicks. If introspection is my aim, I listen to Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen. If I'm looking to describe a tortured soul, I put on a Marc Anthony ballad and weep with him as I craft my forlorn character."
Noelle Sterne www.Trustyourlifenow.com
"I not only enjoy listening to music as I write—I must listen. It’s part of the ritual that helps me keep my writing promise and turn away from the octopus lists littering my desk and mind."
Karen Lange at Write Now shares...
"Sometimes I listen to music, either something on my computer or a random selection on Pandora. I find sometimes though, especially when I'm on deadline,
it can be distracting. I listen to classical and similar, but more often I prefer contemporary praise and worship, such as Michael W. Smith, Hillsong, etc. This
type of music is encouraging, inspiring, and less intrusive. I can't have too much audibly going on when I am focused."
Are you "In a New York state of mind"? Or are you more inclined to unwind to soft, elevator music? What artists or songs would you recommend? Who's on your playlist?
Anxious to hear from you...Your comments are like "music" to my ears.