“The shadow to creativity is as elusive as the creativity itself.”
– Kim Krans
The creative self is a tricky minx, isn’t it?
One day, everything clicks and you can churn out page after page. Another day, it feels like squeezing words out of a stone, or your writing self sounds like an echo on a bad phone connection- tinny and strange and not sounding like you at all.
We all have bad days when writing- when creating anything, in fact.
So… how to set the scene in the best possible way? I am a huge proponent of music while writing.
Not music with words – I can’t handle the distraction there. But instrumental music, yes please.
I learned this trick from a fellow writer, and I have loved it ever since.
I write to soundtracks that have the same emotional tone as the story I’m working on. I even change based on the emotional tone of a scene.
Here’s some for you to try:
- Writing a sad scene? Try the soundtrack to Jane Eyre.
- Trying to build suspense? I love the score from the Matrix.
- Got an action sequence that needs some oomph? Escape 700 from Hanna is pure gold.
- Transporting into another world or another time? Inception is totally transporting.
- Writing heady sci-fi? Try The Fountain
- Getting romantic? Pride and Prejudice is lovely and sweet, and the Piano is for the more intense story.
- Social commentary? Try Anna Karenina
- To perk up a sluggish moment, many of the numbers in La La Land are so danceable. Many of these do have words, though…
- And for a scary story, I can’t think of anything creepier and more haunting than theTwin Peaks soundtrack.
This is by no means a complete list, just some of my personal discoveries. All of these links lead to Spotify, and you can listen there for free with ads. If you have an account and think of an album you like to write to, it’s also fun to create a radio station- I’ve found loads of music I never thought of that is great to write to. (Who knew the Transformers score was so transporting?)
If you aren’t one to write with music, I hope this opens you up to what can often power me through some incredibly productive writing sessions. If you do write with music, this might help you choose what you listen to strategically to get you in the best mindset to channel the feelings you need to get through your next scene.
I hope this is helpful- I know putting this list together has me very eager to dive into my own writing…