Feeling the Music by Priscilla KissingerSome people can't concentrate with noise in the background. They must have complete silence, or their thoughts are pulled away by distractions.
Not so for me. Perhaps it comes from finishing my undergraduate degree while studying on the floor in my kids' playroom. Barbies walking along my back, stuffed animals propped up next to me because my kids wanted mommy to "play" alongside of them. I learned very quickly to tune out the distractions. In fact many times I need "noise" in the background while I'm concentrating. ESPN gets lots of play time when I'm working around the house.
When I'm writing, total quiet is unnerving to me, and actually becomes a distraction. Here's where music comes in. For years I could only listen to instrumental music. Songs with lyrics pulled my concentration away from the words I was trying to write, and I often found myself singing along. Now, I'm better able to go with the "feel" of the music that's playing.
I've heard of authors who have a so-called soundtrack for each of their books. A group of songs that inspired them while they wrote. Others, like me, pop in a cd or crank up their ipod to music that brings out whatever emotion speaks of the emotion in the scene they are writing. Or whatever music brings forth the emotion I'm trying to tap into within myself.
My books lean more towards family drama. Most of the music I play while writing evokes deep, rich, romantic emotions within me. Sometimes I play the soundtrack of a movie that brought out the same feelings. My "A Walk in the Clouds" cd has been worth the $13 it cost. As has my "Dying Young" cd. The music from "Love Affair", the Annette Benning and Warren Beaty remake of "An Affair to Remember" is absolutely beautiful, though I've yet to find the cd. In recent years I also include all of my Il Divo cds and anything by Josh Groban as "must haves" in my cd library.
Ultimately, when choosing my writing music my number one concern is how it makes me "feel". In my busy life, my writing time is precious. The right music helps me lose myself in the story, evoking the powerful, heartfelt emotions my characters are feeling throughout their story. Maybe it's the same music I listened to with a previous book, to me it doesn't matter. I just plug in my earphones, turn up the volume a bit, and let the emotions roll. Even closing my eyes with the swell of the music, willing my emotions to come forth onto the page.
Silly? Maybe. But it works for me.
What about you? Are you a silence is golden writer? Wild, rock n roll kinda chick? Or a swelling, love story soundtrack player?
Share your thoughts, music preferences and recommendations. I'm actually on the road, traveling half way across the country to take my oldest to college, so I may not be able to reply until late tonight, or maybe even Friday late afternoon.
But I WILL reply. I'm anxious to hear what you guys listen to, and especially if you have any recommendations.
Let's hear what you have to say....