Music is the shorthand of emotion ~ Leo Tolstoy
During my sophomore year in high school, I attended my first concert. The lights dimmed and the spotlight hit the stage, my arm hairs stood. As Steve Perry and his band members of Journey sang “Wheel in the Sky” I became lost in the music. For the next two hours, I was in awe of the energy exuding from the stage. It was powerful. It’s something I’ll never forget.
Music has always had a way of transporting me back in time. I can hear a song and I’ll remember exactly what I was doing the first time I heard it. If I’m feeling a little low, I can turn on some music from the 1980’s and I feel like dancing.
The first step in my writing process is to turn on my music. I’ve discovered the right background music can magically ignite my creative process. Music helps me create an atmosphere and visualize scenes. When I find myself struggling for the right words, I’ll listen to a few lines from a song and again, I’m writing.
Many writers find music a distraction while writing. They must have silence or somehow the music will find its way into their story or article. For me, music is one of the key aspects of my writing process. In movies, music will enhance a scene or create tension. Music plays in my dentist’s office, with hopes of calming the patient’s nerves. Advertising agencies spend big bucks for product jingles that remain in your head long after the commercial ends. Music triggers memories and memories stir the imagination.
Obviously, every writer is different and what works for me may not work for you. When I first began writing, I needed silence. Soon the silence overpowered my thoughts, so one day I turned on my iPod and I haven’t turned it off since. If you ever find yourself struggling with your writing, I suggest turning on some music and listen carefully to the lyrics, they may just lead you down a road you never imagined.