I have coined a new term for what I do with much of my time lately.
I listen to podcasts or music while I work, but lately, the need to write rough draft (IE: new words) is getting serious interference from my choice of audio.
Honestly, I thin I need a change of pace from chain-listening to old episodes of podcasts about writing and craft.
In a way, they’re just background noise, but they don’t inspire me the way new music and podcasts do. Here is an example of how inspiring music can be for me.
I wrote a novel called White Curtain from start to finish back in 2009. This is one I’ve mentioned before on this blog because of the intense level of productivity I had for every day I worked on it.
It began after a writing drought of a few months through January and February. Finally, one week in March I had a discussion with my twin brother over skype, talking about different ways to take a Harry Potter magic-school premise. I got inspired by the conversation and ran with a few other ideas, in a completely opposite direction.
The following Saturday (Just two or three days after the initial conversation) I dedicated myself to writing ALL DAY, as much as I could, on this new story. I ended up with over 12,000 words at the end of 10 or so hours of work.
That was major writing binge, the likes of which left me satisfied for a few months and I went back to my school work and relationships with what I recall as a major boom of happiness. But the book wasn’t finished yet, and neither was I finished with it.
After the end of that semester, I returned to the book. In June and July, I wrote more consistently than I remember doing since (Though I had managed it fairly often before that point). I hammered out the novel to the end before July completed, and the draft was warty and detailed and disorderly. But it was done. That is the oldest book of mine that I still like and have ambitions to publish using the actual rough draft.
Gosh, seven years have gone by quick. The anniversary of my starting that draft is this month, probably less than a week away though I don’t remember the particular date.
One thing that may have animated me to higher heights (And an increased focus on weighty amounts of detail in that book in particular) was the music I had just discovered. White Curtain is and was a fairly light-hearted book for a fantasy novel, but ironically I wrote most of it while listening to my first favorite death metal band, Opeth.
Opeth records used to mix the death growl vocals with clean singing, but almost always with super heavy instrumentation. I had been listening to some Devin Townsend, and a lot of Mastodon, and I think I had scratched the surface of Strapping Young Lad at the time, but I really embraced Opeth while writing. Deep, dark, brutal and unfamiliar. The music really set me off.
Perhaps this is part of my problem. Lately, I’ve been listening to only a little new music, with the exception of a few Dear Hunter albums, which I’m loving, I keep going back to familiar bands and playlists of old favorites.
I’ve heard other writers recommend listening to the same song over and over again while writing as a mantra of sorts.
Perhaps I’ll give that a try.
Anyway, this post has grown in its detail.
In any case, I am off to work on my fiction.
Thanks for reading.