And the Music Continues…
Last week I did something that I rarely do. I wrote a segment of my novel without the aid of music playing in the background. This was a major moment for me because it revealed something about my writing. When I write with music I am able to flesh out my characters more than when I write without it. It’s like the tone of the song playing moves me to my very core and gives life to these people living in the pages of my book. Without the music, they become lifeless and boring to read about. They don’t react the way I expect them to and they don’t express themselves in a way that makes them more than just letter on a page.
This revelation had me thinking of all the other times I’ve used music to help me write. Not only have I used music for my own personal writing but I’ve also used it to help me complete essays for school. When I reflected on my prior essay scores, I realized that I did very well on the ones I wrote with music playing and mediocre on the others I wrote without music. Figuring this out also helped me to reflect on why music has such an impact on me. Why is it that writing with or without music is like night and day?
The type of music I like to listen to when I’m writing doesn’t surprise me since I used to play in my high school band. I can understand that but I still wonder why it affects me so much. After pondering over this for almost a week, I came to the conclusion that I’m a dreamer.
Now, this may seem a little farfetched and out there but it made perfect sense to me. One of the reasons why I loved reading and writing was because of my active imagination. I could literally see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the things I read about. This may also be because the writers were amazing at their craft but I’ve always known that I have an active imagination. Even now, it still hasn’t slowed down since my childhood. Well, one of my favorite things I did as a child was daydream and I loved doing it while listening to music. I would listen to my favorite soundtrack performed by an orchestra and let my imagination run wild. Some days I would become mentally exhausted without even lifting a finger because of my imagination.
So now I’ve figured out why music impacts me and my writing. It gives my imagination the boost it needs to kick into overdrive and run free. I’m suddenly able to put myself into my characters heads and feel what they are feeling. My fictional stories suddenly have enough life flowing through them to feel like an autobiography. Music transports my mind to a place I could never reach on my own. I hear the thundering beats of the percussion, the soulful wails of the brass, and the complex trills of the woodwinds, and suddenly my writing becomes an out of body experience. For as long as a song lasts my characters come to life to tell their own stories. It’s a liberating yet limiting process. One on hand I know I can write well but on the other, I’ve come to realize that it’s because of something outside of me. While I understand that everyone has a writing process, I still don’t feel comfortable solely depending on music in order to grow in my craft. I want the reassurance that the product I produce comes from me and not another source. It is like still wanting confirmation that I’m a good basketball player even if my team is number one.
I know I still have a long way to go as a writer and maybe it’s just my own insecurities presenting themselves since I’m new to this. Maybe I’ll eventually accept that music is as much a part of me as writing and the two are inseparable. Nevertheless, I’m still an amateur writer and trying to figure out this complex literary world so I’ll try to write without music for a while. I’ll attempt this challenge for an entire week and then go back to my usual routine. It sounds like a fun challenge and if I do well I’ll be pleased and if I don’t I’ll get over it. I guess I’m already off to a good start. I just wrote this entire post without listening to a single song…but I’ll start my challenge later on this week. I have another chapter to write and I’ve already mentally selected the song I want to listen to. ^_^
Another day, another page