Of Music and Books

Sometimes, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own work and not really see much of anything else beyond the words on the page.  Very recently, I have been reminded of two rather significant points to remember, one of which I had mostly forgotten, though I’ve been reminded of on several occasions.  The first thing is that music is awesome.  Yes, that’s obvious in and of itself but here, I’m referring to its use in the realm of writing.  Potentially, it can be a source of incredible inspiration and encouragement.  In fact, it’s how I’ve managed to find some of my greatest instrumental musics which I fall back on when I have something ‘epic’, action oriented or even angsty to work on.  If you’ve not heard them, I would recommend Two Steps From Hell or Blackmill.  I would try to describe them for you but really it’s probably best if you see for yourself, if you’re so inclined anyway.  🙂  I don’t know about you, but if something has lyrics in it (foreign lyrics don’t count since I have no idea what they’re saying), I get too focused on the words in the song to hone in appropriately on what I want to write.  And I’ve personally found that it’s the underlying beat and emotion that really drives the creative force.

Ah, but now I’m going off on a tangent.  What I meant to comment upon was the fact that music itself can also serve to completely throw you off your game if you happen to be writing one style and something vastly different pops up and intrudes upon your inner workings.  I experienced this just the other night when working on a particularly tense scene where the music was fine at first, but me having on a random playlist that did not belong to either of the above artists, suddenly found myself listening to something incredibly bouncy and happy.  -_-  Right…  Total derailment.  At least for a short time anyway.  I picked myself up quickly enough, forming a separate playlist just to avoid that occurrence again, but it was just interesting to notice since I’m usually more track organized in terms of what I am working on.  How about you?  Do the writers out there have any particular types of playlists you listen to while working?  A combat, sad, happy, etc. playlist?  I’m just curious.  And if so, would you have any other artists you might be able to recommend?

The second point I wanted to mention was that, at least in my case, it’s easy to lose sight of something else you enjoy doing when you get wrapped up in your own work.  It’s been a fair bit of time since I’ve read a book or story for leisure and most of the time, I focus my efforts on writing.  I can imagine several of you have probably experienced that toss up moment of knowing that you have free time but then it’s down to deciding how you want to spend it.  Do you write or read/game/clean/insert other activity here?  So… I finally took the time to immerse myself in the world of someone else and when I had resurfaced, I found that I’d missed it.  It was like meeting a long lost friend for the first time after a long separation and realizing that things hadn’t changed between us.  I’d been gone but hadn’t really ever forgotten.  🙂

When I sat down to write after that experience, I think I wrote some of my more grounded and potentially inspired chapters.  Not because it was anything even remotely like what I was working on, but maybe because of the shared creative experience.  You can tell when someone has put time and energy into their creation and I think that sometimes we feed off that; get caught up in the lives of the characters and live and die with them.  For me, the reminder was both an invigorating and humbling experience and I must give credit where it is due to those who tell me to keep reading as well.  I should never be too busy to explore the hard built world of another.  While it’s not exactly fantasy per se (which is my genre of choice), my latest leisure read is Bushido: The Soul of Japan.  I’m curious what sort of inspiration it will stir in the back of my mind upon completion.  😉  What’s the most recent piece you’ve read lately?

So, just a little food for thought.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy your day!

2 thoughts on “Of Music and Books

  1. I have similar thoughts with music. I’ll often use dramatic film scores to write my action scenes, and I’m always a fan of Sigur Ros for my emotional stuff.

    As for reading, I find that I do manage that a lot – usually on breaks at work – and that is something I find very fulfilling and beneficial. Often I find that what I am reading makes me a) want to write, and b) want to write better.

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    1. I think I may well have to check out this Sigur Ros, just in case. 😉 And yeah, I’m relearning that last bit. Somewhere along the way I fell off that horse and never remembered to get back on. >.>

      Also, I’m dismally behind but I think I have the beginnings of a story arc I want to follow. Doing a mad dash of world and character building currently to get the layout straight in my head and hopefully I’ll be able to start contributing to that NaNo word count. lol

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