Music and I have a funny relationship when it comes to writing.
I didn’t think that the two were acquainted until I stopped listening to music completely (but that is a different story). The well of words slowly dried up, and finding them became a chore. Sitting at the desk left me restless.
Writing is such a bodiless occupation. It transports your mind elsewhere, consumes everything, and it’s easy to neglect the body in the process. I realized I use music to reconnect.
Sometimes in the summer months, I’ll walk home with my ear buds in, hardly paying attention to the music. It makes the walk go faster, a background to my thoughts, muting the unimportant ones: deadlines, what to cook for dinner. Somehow, the joyful ones, the obscene ones, the terrifying ones, the reckless ones, manage to get through.
These make for good stories.
When it’s time to write, I prefer silence, but before I settle into the quiet, I close the door, turn up the music and dance.
Sometimes I let my playlist select music at random, but more often than not I pick a song that echoes the feeling of what I need to write next. There are certain songs tied to particular scenes, chapters, and books. Some songs are tied to different parts of the writing process, and I can’t listen to them without thinking about it.
I careen around the room like a fool, trying to move every muscle from my toes to my forehead, to get the blood flowing. I stretch out my arms, and my shoulders, my back, and my legs. If anyone witnessed my sweet sweet dance moves, they’d just start laughing. It ain’t pretty, but that’s not the point. I let go of self-consciousness and close my eyes, lose myself in the pleasure of motion and sound.
And when my heart is racing, when the blood is in my ears, I turn off the sound, and write.
Theresa Bazelli is my alpha reader, a dear friend of mine and exquisite writer with few short stories out already. If you want to learn more about her, you should check out her blog over at Ink Stained ~ A Writer’s Blog.