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The tune to write to April 28, 2010

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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I think this idea started as a way to procrastinate. Music can put you in a mood. And I wanted to get in the mood to write. So what music would put me in the mood to write? Of course, I then had to listen to some songs and think – is this making me feel like I want to write?

I’ve written to music before. I have some noise canceling headphones I sometimes wear while writing. Shutting out ambient noise from the house and the big-engined cars on the quiet suburban back streets can help me focus. But then I have every little sound of breathing, of the blood pumping through my ears. So some music is good to cancel out the silence.

This led me to search for people with similar issues, and I found this website – Music to Write By. I like the idea of an anchor song, the starting music to the movie which is your book; the song that inspires you. I can hear the Rocky theme in my head, playing that and pumping myself up to write.

I can hear that, but it doesn’t really inspire me.

I like the idea of music that puts you in the mood, but this, again, would require me to go through my music collection and make multiple play lists.

Procrastination again?

I can call it preparation. I can do it now, and then the next time I have a romance scene, out comes Michael Buble, or Dean Martin. Car chase? A fast paced song such as Stop the Rock, by Apollo 440? And I just love this piece by Juno Reactor – Conga Fury (Animatrix Edit) for a fight scene.

In her article Indra also suggested Baroque music, classical stuff which wont distract the mind with lyrics. I like the idea of writing to classical music. When I Was younger I purchased a four-pack of CD’s which were Mood Music collections. Classical pieces with a mood collated onto one CD. I like that. Knowing very little about this genre of music, having someone suggest and make the play list for me was great. And, as such, Indra’s suggestion of Vivaldi influenced my retail decisions to purchase one of his albums. I have yet to write to any of his music, so I will give you an update.

Another great suggestion for music while writing is movie sound tracks. Not the collection of rocks songs, such as The Crow Soundtrack had, which is an awesome album. When I have had my heart broken, I know I am getting better when I can listen to ‘It Wont Rain All The Time’ and it doesn’t bring me to tears. And I have just added that song to my ‘sad songs’ play list.

The movie sound track albums I am speaking of are the classical scores. The Bladerunner sound track is magnificent. So too, for me, the Gladiator sound track. But, again, this is an area I am not very familiar with. I ask for suggestions from friends, and this is leading me through many strange doors. I think Hans Zimmer might be on my most wanted list for movie sound tracks.

And I then come back to the Anchor Song idea. For me, I always know that once I am writing, I enjoy it and I can keep writing. Its that first step, the hook that catches me, something which can drag me down on to the page that i need. I know i have many shiny things distracting me. So, to have an awesome song that makes me want to write?

Wouldn’t that be the proverbial pot of gold?

It is not up to a song to make me write. It is up to me to make me write. But, find a great song, write while the song is playing, who knows, I may keep writing once I hit the ‘repeat’ button.


My Writing Hat April 8, 2010

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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I mentioned in my blog back here that I have a writing hat. It is my purple and orange jesters hat, with bells. When people who know I am a writer see me wearing this hat, they know I am writing. You could call it my ‘do not disturb’ sign, although seeing someone in a cafe wearing this hat, you may think they already are disturbed.

Now, I had lost this hat, or rather, misplaced it. It was not where the rest of my hats were. This bugged me for some time, until last night I was quite frantic. I announced on Facebook I had lost my writing hat, and set out to find it. Almost an hour of determined moving of things, I found it. I was quite ecstatic!

I declared to Facebook I had found my writing hat, and then wrote for a good 2 hours.

I find myself in an amusing predicament here. I know that it is me, the person, who is the writer. It is I who has to turn up to the page and create. There are no gimmicks, magic spells or items that will make me wwrite. I, the person, the creator, is the one who will write.

And yet, purely because I found my writing hat, I celebrated this fact by writing. I have not, and will not, study this too closely, what attachment I have to this hat, or why it drives me. For the moment, I am just happy I have found the hat, and if it prompts me to write, then it cannot be a bad thing.

And, as a side note. The stuff I wrote while wearing my hat? Unlike my last post, I did not delete any of it. Oh, only the bit where my character thought about her predicament. I deleted that and made her talk about it with someone else. While doing a kickboxing workout. Move the dialogue with action.

I was happy.