Music Makes my Writing World Work

I am a huge fan of music. I have always been. I grew up in a house where Mum would always play music, and would do it at any chance she would get. I have fond memories of dancing to Michael Jackson (Black and White was my favourite) while cooking; singing to Shania Twain, Tina Area and The Corrs while Dad was at work and Mum’s obsession with George Michael where she would play his songs over and over again, real loud. My favourite memory is sneaking out of bed and taking my school made pillow and laying on the floor as she blared Fast Love over and over again, while my brother and I were supposed to be sleeping. I woke up in my bed, I don’t know if she put me there or if it was Dad when he came home.

As I grew up and found my love for reading, I discovered that I couldn’t do it in silence. I started to listen to music at full blast and it started with blaring the Backstreet Boys and *Nsync. Getting my own CD player was the catalyst for me. My family was probably driven sick with all of my music choices and all of the CDs I’d request (remember what those were like?) When I received my first Discman it was bliss, I could listen to my music and carry it with me from room to room and not disturb anyone. Then MP3 players came out and I discovered just how great they were. You could put enough songs on them to replace a CD but they were smaller and could fit into your pocket. After my generic branded MP3 player turned into an iPod mini (I had a hot pink one that I adored) there was no going back.

Writing came along with the music. It’s a packaged deal to me. I needed the constant mixture of tunes in my ears to edge me on, but it wasn’t just any kind of song, most of them had to have a beat to them that I could write to that didn’t bore me. Or they needed to be hot and sexy to be able to keep up with the scene I was writing. And on bad days when writing just didn’t want to flow? It was boybands. It’s a bad day when I break out the boybands.

It’s the only kind of music that can rip me out of the stalemate my writing and I had come to.

Getting back onto the horse when it comes to writing has been a tedious thing, but lately? I’ve been dipping back into music that has me nostalgic. I was writing to Evanescence, which I fondly remember listening to as I read Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series. But it’s got me to sit my arse down and write and it’s not a little bit of writing I did 2759 words through the day. They may not be the best words, but they were sure mighty. And it felt good. Like I was coming back to my favourite armchair that I had worn in and was ready to sit again after being away for some time.

I used to own a post by post role playing site that was based on one of my favourite authors worlds. It was so extensive that I almost preferred the lore we had there on the site than in the books. It was fun, I would have plenty of post to reply to and would always use music as my touch point to get back to and as I mentioned above boybands were the thing that got me through, but it was always The Backstreet Boys, because…well why not? They’re my favourite band and even now, when I get stuck I pull them out and while I tap away to them my brain eases up and I come into my own, which allows my characters to come into their own and are able to get back into the swing of things. Sometimes at this point, I can jump out of BSB and into the music for that character but sometimes it doesn’t happen.

Sometimes going back to the pop helps too. Right now? I’m listening to mash-up of music that I was obsessed with through most of my schooling years and they pick up my mood but also pick up my ability to get shit done. In fact, I’ve managed to smash our two blog posts that were half finished just because I’m sitting here with the right music. It is such a weird concept to me when I hear that some writers can’t write with music in and that makes me soul hurt for them, because music brings something else to writing. Or at least it has to my own writing.

Have you felt it?

Is there a song that you loved and it comes on when you’re writing, it makes you sit forward in your chair, tap your toes while you furiously type away.

I almost wonder what it’s like to have none of that going. Are you one of those? I want to know. What propels you further? How do you deal with emotional scenes or action scenes?

I have some real respect for those that can’t write without music, because I can’t. It stresses me out to even try and think about it. Music is a driving force for me for when I’m upset or when I’m excited. It helps soothes me. It also helps to sing it out. I used to love singing and I’m not the best in the world, as a kid I enjoyed being a part of the choir and even got an audition to do a solo, missed a practice and didn’t get the part, that’s ok though. It didn’t stop me from singing in my room at the top of my lungs to all of the songs that I loved growing up. So, even in my most anxious state, I put on some music that I know makes me feel good and let myself sing. I might look stupid, going to work and singing down the freeway, but I don’t care. It makes me feel.

I’m working on making playlists for all of my WIP because I need them. I’m obsessed with Spotify and making albums for just about everything. But I would love to actually have a playlist where we, as the collective, can add to it and really bring out differences. I’m always looking for new music, I used to randomly pick out artists from a lyric site so that I could get new music. It pulled up a lot of random and amazing music. Not even sorry.

And I love passing on a good thing to others.

So, that’s what we’re doing. I’m inviting you to take the chance and add your favourite songs to the playlist.  I’ve started us off with a few of my favourites that I like when it comes to writing.

Let me know what some of your favourite sonds are, even if you’re not a writer. I’d love to know.

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Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.

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