So I missed my deadline for this week, today is Thursday not Tuesday, but here I am so it still counts. Anyway, I haven’t had much time to write as of late. Between work being crazy busy, life being crazy busy, winter, snow, sickness and a thousand other things going on in my life, I just haven’t been able to find a time to sneak away to write in the evening. Time normally allotted for writing has been consumed by other types of writing: I’m applying for a new job and I’m applying for a promotion at my current job. So I have several “irons in the fire” as they say.
Anyway, I wanted to take some time to talk about music and writing. To me, they are equally important; I have multiple Pandora channels that I use for writing. I’m not sure how unique that is, I know that some people prefer silence when they’re writing, I’m just the opposite. I like lots of things going on around me, a loud coffee shop or something, with my headphones on and music playing. Sitting in an empty room, while I can still write, just isn’t the same. I need the activity. Maybe I’m just odd that way?
Also, the music I listen to isn’t classical or instrumental. When I was writing my first two books, Break Away and Homecoming, I had my Led Zeppelin channel going all the time. Not just when I’m writing but whenever I listened to my music…In the car, at work, cooking dinner. The music and the stories I was writing started to become one and just listening to classic rock now put me right back into that post-apocalyptic mindset and I’d find myself brainstorming about book ideas regardless of what else I was doing.
My newest book is no different. Well, it’s kinda different. I’m still listening to music nonstop, especially when I’m writing, but it’s a new series and new characters who are different than those in my first series. That required a new genre of music. I tried a few different variations but I’ve settled on my 2Pac channel. 90’s and early 2000’s rap and hip hop is all I’m listening to right now. Biggie, Wu Tang, Busta, The Roots, Common, ODB…This music not only sets the tone for my books but it helps me to give my characters agency and identity, draw me into the story as I write it. Some songs even make small cameo appearances in the book should the lyrics and tone of the song match what’s happening in the story.
It’s not really something I was ever told or taught to do, but man does it feel right. I was just instinctively drawn to this process and I can’t imagine writing any other way. Also, since the book I’m putting the finishing touches on now is the first in a 6 or 7 book series (in theory), I imagine I’ll be immersed in hip-hop for some time… and I am so okay with that!
Let me know in the comments what you do when you write? Music? No music? Absolute silence? Screaming children? Let me know!