I listen to music.
I listen to music all the time.
I listen to music on iTunes, in headphones, through my CD player, from my iPod, I sing it in the shower and at the park, I play it on the piano. I’m something of a music freak. Most importantly, though, I listen to it while I’m writing. Writing in silence is something I don’t much fancy, even though I can – but when I do, it doesn’t quite have the zing that it would otherwise.
A lot of people listen to music just to fill in the silence. I listen to music to feel things, even when I’m not writing. I have songs I listen to when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m depressed, when I’m relaxed – and I have songs I listen to when I want to feel the opposite of how I do at any given moment.
Music has an effect how we feel, and how we feel has an effect on our actions. That’s why I create playlists for every novel I’m currently writing, and each one has a different theme. This is what the my iTunes home looks like.
If you look at the list of playlists on the left, you’ll see I have one for every novel I’m currently writing. If you were to look at them, you would see that they all have very different songs in them. For instance, Acceso’s playlist is full of darker, heavier, more depressing and deep-lyriced (lyriced? Pretend it’s a word, okay) songs that solidify my Acceso mood when I write. It has songs by Skillet, Daughtry, the GazettE, and One OK Rock.
The Meaning of Always has a playlist that looks quite different, being a more summer-themed, romantic story of getting past hardship and regaining faith. It’s much more cheerful than Acceso. It has songs by One Direction, Taylor Swift, Francesca Battistelli, David Archuleta and Owl City.
Thirty Percent Human (don’t get excited, it’s only a brainstorm) is more futuristic/cyborg oriented, so the playlist includes songs like “Humanoids” by TVXQ, “Robot” by C.N.Blue, and epic scores with futuristic sounds.
The Diamond Mask has a more gothic theme (once again, it’s only a brainstorm) so I have songs by Evanescence, Within Temptation, Romeo, and Hayley Westenra.
I have a playlist called ‘Sweet’ which is mostly made up of OSTs and nice, calm, cheery love songs.
All of these playlists are designed with the specific purpose to enhance my mood while writing a certain book. It’s like drugs without all the negative side effects (unless you count the fact that listening to depressing music might turn your mood a nice shade of blue, or listening to peppy-bouncy music might make you behave a bit like Pinkie Pie). Music is a powerful tool, especially while writing. Take it from me and don’t try and write a cheerful scene while listening to Day of Fire, and don’t try to write a heart-wrenchingly sad song while listening to B1A4. You’ll be working against yourself.
So in short, happy music = happy mood, sad music = sad mood, music + writing = a match made in heaven, if you use it well. What about you? Do you create playlists for your novels? Have you ever tried to write with clashing music and had it turn out as a horrible mess, or does it not bother you at all?