Artists have muses. Maybe that applies to every profession – the thing that moves you to do what you do. For me, I find that listening to different styles of music inspires me to write. It’s a creative practice I often use when I want to focus or create under a certain mood. Music inspires me and widens my capacity to wander deep in thoughts hither, thither, and yon.
I have the Pandora app on my phone, and that’s really good for helping me focus in crowded spaces like coffee shops, the office, or even at home. Sometimes the silence does not help me articulate what I feel my words need in order to birth themselves into the world. Can I get a witness? I digress … Back to Pandora, you can create your own stations which is something I’ve done. Stations for upbeat moods, melancholy moods, romantic moods, solitary and pensive moods, and stations for celebrations. I’ve heard of Spotify, but I haven’t ventured there, and maybe it’s because I’m a creature of habit. Again, I digress, but hit me up with your fave music apps. I game to try new ones. Onward with how I’m inspired by the music.
Here is what inspired me while writing this post: Dario Marianelli’s score of Pride and Prejudice. It’s wonderful, calming, pastoral, inspiring, and so full of emotion. I needed that pastoral reverie to unlock my words which were held captive by the busyness of the day. Music softens the and releases the tension we may fight. Maybe that’s also why I like classical music and various forms of jazz. Something of these styles hits an inner heart note and makes way for the rush of words come without being blocked or diverted. But I’ll also admit there are times when words can’t be coaxed and you fight for every single word stretched across the page. I’ve had lots of those moments too, and this year two very different songs I’ve listened to on repeat to beat back the you-ain’t-got-no-words goons, Hamilton’s “I Wrote My Way Out” and Rita Springer’s “Every Battle.” Sometimes I need a writing gut punch to kick it into gear. I need the rush of fist pumping lyricism to make me move into my destiny and writing purpose. Yes, I went there, and I’ll keep going back.
Other times the writing requires the sweeping epic (Gladiator, Titanic, Braveheart, Shawshank Redemption), a soaring saga (Big Hero Six), the drama (Lord of the Rings, Marvel and DC comics have awesome scores in my opinion), some (S)heroism (Wonder Woman, The Patriot), courage (Moana), or even overcoming (300, Passion of the Christ) found in film scores like Disney or any films that are your favorite. Perhaps what rocks your world might be the songs that tell a story because they help you usher in your own story. You don’t know till you experiment. I experiment with lyrical and non lyrical music. Some artists who inspire me are Mary J. Blige, Susan Ashton, Steven Curtis Chapman, James Taylor, Owl City, Mackelmore, Michael W. Smith, Daft Punk, India Arie, Michael Buble, Hyperstatic Union and that’s just to name a few. Music as part of the creative writing process is another way of finding my voice and making it stronger.
I find music to be a good segue into writing deeper, plumbing the depths of where you want your words to go, professional development workshops, and teaching English. It can teach so much about mood, tone, theme, and atmosphere with music; and it can help us connect to abstract ideas. Musical listening Creativity is a pathway to learning, growing, and developing our own voice in writing. I have found this to be true over my lifetime. Today I want to encourage you to listen again. Try new music. Create your own creative practice music stations, and stay inspired.
How does music impact your creative practice? I’d love to hear your stories.
In the month of October, I’m participating in the #Write31Days challenge. I’m focusing creative practice in the ordinary everyday mundane. Each day (or whenever I write) for the series I will post the link on my page for my #31DaysOfCreativePractice. Come along and read.