The Music of the Write

The Music of the Write copy

Music, man…it’s good stuff. There have been a bunch of studies on the positive effect music has on the brain. It’s not just good for your brain though, Music can be good for your writing too.

Music can help you focus while you’re ticking away at the keys. It can center you. It can keep you in the moment.

I prefer to listen to classical music and motion picture scores while I’m actively writing. I find that I am easily distracted (thanks ADD) and lyrics make it difficult for me to focus on the “Lyrics” that I am trying to put onto the page.

If wordless music isn’t your bag, that’s fine. Listen to whatever helps you focus or let go of what is around you. Stephen King mentioned in his book “About Writing” that he likes to listen to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal when he writes. This makes total sense for the Thriller/ Horror genre that he has become such a staple in.

What’s that you say? You don’t like to listen to music at all while you write? You get distracted with any outside noise what-so-ever? You always have to be so complicated, don’t you? Not to worry, you can benefit from music too! Listening to it outside of your writing can also have benefits. When you’re driving to work and some whiny boy band song comes on the radio, you can interpret their “I’m feeling sorry for myself, you were the most horrible girl I’ve ever dated.” lyrics as spoken from a character in your YA protagonist’s love life. It could be the protagonist them self or some Stage 5 Clinger they can’t seem to get rid of. Now that character makes a little more sense to you. Hooray, boy bands are finally serving a purpose in society!

You can use the same method for the atypical country song where the guitar strumming musician loses his wife, dog, house and truck. His deep-throated-twang-filled cries of pain could help you understand a character in your novel that has lost everything that they care about most.

So if you’re feeling stuck, turn on some tunage and let your mind wonder around in the world of your story. Who knows what you might find. You may even surprise yourself!

Do you listen to music while you write? If so what music inspires/motivates you most? Let me know in the comments below.

Do You NaNoWriMo?

Do You Nanowrimo copy

Can you sense the jitters in the writing atmosphere this all hallows eve? Believe it or not it’s not from the sugar rush they got from their children’s candy that they had to “dispose” of because they, ahem, “thought it was unsafe.”

No, this is a different kind of jitters. This is very similar to what I imagine a marathon runner feels the night before the big race. That’s because we writers have a “marathon” of our own and it kicks off every year on November first.

This marathon is called National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo if you’re one of those cool zippy types. The idea behind NaNoWriMo (yes I am a cool zippy type) is to create a time when writers can hold themselves and each other accountable for keeping to a daily word count. During the month of November you are supposed to write at least 50,000 words which ideally would be the entire first draft of a novel.  Pretty cool huh?

In case you were wondering, your daily word count ends up being about 1667 words a day. I know for a lot of writers that is a pretty hefty number to have to write every single day for an entire month, but it could be worth it in the end.  Besides having a finished first draft of your novel, NaNoWriMo.com throws in free trials of writing software and goodies for winners (aka: writers who pass the 50,000 word mark by the end of November).

NaNoWriMo certainly isn’t for everyone. If you expect that your November is going to be extremely busy, then maybe it would be better to hold off until next year. If you do want to participate though, sign up at http://nanowrimo.org/.  It is completely free and can be a lot of fun!

Do you plan to participate in NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know why or why not in the comments!