For some writers, the only thing more intimidating than the blank page is a silent soundtrack to their wordsmithing. In a very unscientific finding, I would say that about half of my writer friends write to some sort of musical sounds—cosmic white noise, whales crooning, the buzz of nature, Tibetan singing bowls—whatever it takes for us to be enveloped in our own creative world.
It seems even best-selling professionals constantly seek ways to maintain the most direct route to their writing passion. We all want to reach in deep and get our best version of personal truth and beauty on the page. For many of us, music helps channel the necessary mood to write or revise well.
In a recent webinar, author/presenter James L. Rubart presented his idea on how struggling writers can find the true heart of their work: name your three favorite movies and find the theme that unites them. If they’re truly your favorite movies, they probably have a common theme that spoke to you. That’s the theme of your own life—that will be your best place to write from.
So, back to music. Movies have soundtracks, a good percentage of which are instrumental. If the movie’s theme speaks to you, chances are the sound track will, too. It will lift you to the same places the movie itself does. So, as part of finding the most direct route to your writing passions, why not download the soundtracks of your favorite movies to write by?
I’ve got a very long way to go before being an accomplished writer myself, but this technique works for me when the sounds of nature through my window aren’t quite enough to help me reach in deep. Happy writing!
After nearly twenty-two years as a professional firefighter, Laura Kemp has turned to writing despite her discovery that it’s more daunting to craft good fiction than it is to run into burning buildings.
7/13/2020 03:48:53 pm
What are your favorites?
7/13/2020 04:09:03 pm
Right now I'm finding inspiration in the soundtracks of two older movies, among others - The Last of the Mohicans and Rain Man. Talk about two ends of the spectrum!
Susan E Frederick
7/13/2020 04:10:25 pm
Excellent blog, Laura! I pull on my headphones and tune into Spa Radio to write. I can't listen to music I know because it brings back memories and distracts me from my story line, but Spa works perfectly for me.
7/13/2020 07:58:19 pm
Spa radio sounds like something I want to check out. Thanks for the tip!
7/13/2020 05:03:37 pm
Excellent information. I'm in total agreement. My music choices are similar, usually soft jazz or chill albums. The music I choose conjures up wonderful experiences, travel, best loved films - sometimes the tunes overlap between soundtracks. And sipping wine when I'm actually writing about sitting in a bistro in Paris is imperative. Or remembering an event dear to my heart when I was younger. I scamper to find the vinyl to fit the mood i.e. Neil Young, Earth, Wind and Fire, Grover Washington. Writing, creating art, and staying in tune with your life's experiences makes it all personal and unique. Work that only you can produce.
7/13/2020 08:01:10 pm
Being transported like that sounds lovely. I'm afraid anything with lyrics tends to distract me, unless it's Hawaiian music where I can't understand the words, LOL.
7/13/2020 07:14:42 pm
I feel that my brain works best on two simultaneous channels: the foreground of thinking and writing and the background of music. I have a playlist of 112 songs (almost all of them instrumental) taken from about 15 albums. Because I'm familiar with all the songs, they don't intrude. Some of my favorites are from the soundtrack of HIdden Tiger, Crouching Dragon. I did like that movie a lot.
7/13/2020 08:02:51 pm
Now I want to see that movie! I can't believe I haven't yet.
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