Last week special k took his headphones to work, and it was cataclysmic. When I write, I listen to music on his pro headphones, which effectively shuts me into my own private world. Heading off to a day of writing without them…I felt a little like an addict whose secret stash had disappeared without warning. Shaky, uncertain, wondering how the hell I was going to manage.
Sure enough, at about 1:30 in the afternoon my brain refused to cooperate, and I felt like a hyperactive kid, being forced to sit quietly in a quiet library, about to do something crazy.
Jenny Crusie, Lucy March and Anne Stuart posted a great chat about using soundtracks for developing and writing their books. They talk about using music to create character and mood – and the way the soundtrack becomes synonymous with those things. They talk about music selection and sex songs.
One thing they didn’t mention, and this is probably my primary use of music when I write: It kills off part of my brain. Or if I’m being less dramatic and more accurate, let’s say it distracts part of my brain.
That part that felt like an ADHD kid the other day? It needs noise, and bright shiny things to keep it occupied, so that it doesn’t put its sticky hands all over my story, or come too close to my thoughts and breathe curiously all over them.
It also distracts the critical, analytical part of my brain, so that it’s much easier to just write. I suspect this is the same function music plays in evoking mood. It allows me to slip into a certain part of my feeling-brain and write from there.
The soundtrack for my work in progress (and some of these vids are awful, so just close your eyes and listen!) is:
(this one gave me my hero’s name!)