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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Musical Shoes Anyone?

These shoes have speakers, and apparently a built in CD player. They don't look very comfortable, but they do offer some sort of musical appeal, I suppose. After I posted yesterday, I realized that one of the reasons I am so inspired by exercise is because I usually listen to music while doing it. Since I haven't been exercising much, I haven't been listening to as much music either. There's always the times in the car, but they are usually filled with fighting children, which really isn't an inspiration at all unless, of course, you are writing a book about sibling rivalry. Music is inspiring in so may ways. First of all, it sets mood. It has a distinct way of making you feel a certain way, and if you can actually feel something, it's that much easier to write about it, isn't it? Second, it brings up images so clear that you can actually see them. A visual picture is worth so much when we are writing. The same holds true with seeing something as it does with feeling something; it makes it easier to write about. Third, it puts me in my characters' heads. When I listen to music that my characters would listen to, I always conjure up some idea of who they are and how they will react in certain instances. Lastly, lyrics are a great source for story ideas. If you listen closely, every song tells a story. Every song can spur a great idea for a scene. Oh, one more thing; I don't mind cleaning near as much if I have music playing. And a clean work space is a productive work space, right? Since I write contemporary YA, I try to listen to modern top '40 music. This is what I envision my characters listening to. Lucky for me, it's what my kids like to listen to, so there is little argument over the station choices. Now, I must go put on some music and tidy up that work space. But, please, do tell--how does music inspire you? And what kind of music brings out the best in your creativity?

35 comments:

Heather Sunseri said...

What a timely post. I heard a song on the way to work this morning that inspired some words for my main characters. Great post, Susan. Hope you're having a great week.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hi, Susan! I definitely write to music. Most often, it's music without lyrics. Movie soundtracks are the best for me, because they keep flowing without stop. I find that if I write to too many words with lyrics, they start influencing my word choice. Sometimes the stories do call for it, however.

Beth said...

I always have my earphones on when I'm writing! I tend to like mellow music when I'm writing...I find it calms me and allows me to focus. I'm really enjoying The Fray and Kings of Leon right now, but my usual go to's are Coldplay and David Gray.

Now working out, I HAVE to have upbeat. I'm really liking the Black Eyed Peas new stuff! :)

Great post!

Natalie Bahm said...

I actually write best in silence. I love music, but it can be distracting. I love quiet... probably because it's so rare around here :)

Stephanie Faris said...

I think music must have been a part of it too for me. I used to go walking every day and I would be so inspired during that time. All kinds of writing ideas would come up. I miss my walking time!

quixotic said...

Music is great and yes it does inspire. I have a soundtrack of songs that set the mood for my first book. I'm slowly working on that for my second. LoL. Some songs just remind me of certain characters and I have to play them while I am working on specific scenes with them in it. I did a blog post about it a while ago, posting you tube links to all the songs I was currently inspired by. Maybe you could share with us some of your songs?

Patti said...

Sometimes I love putting on my earphones and listening to music while I write, but that could just be to drown out the kids.

I do admire song writers, they tell a story in such a short period.

WhisperingWriter said...

Oh, I love listening to music.

I listen to a lot of soundtracks it seems. And oldies.

Strange Fiction said...

I used to drive with the classical station blaring and watch people on the streets--imagining that they were moving and reacting in time to the music--like a live soundtrack. Suddenly the everyday would become dramatic and filled with possibilities...

strugglingwriter said...

I am inspired by music, but not while writing. I love how music can bring back a certain memory. However, I don't write with music on. It distracts me, especially music with words. I guess instrumental music is OK, but I still don't do it.

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

I listen to music while I write, but I don't really think I'm consciously inspired by it. I just have my iPod on shuffle so it randomly goes through my music. It's so much fun to do it that way.

Those are some crazy shoes. I doubt they can possibly be comfortable though.

Regina Milton said...

I typically don't listen to music while writing. I like to listen to music on breaks from my writing to set the mood though. I often listen to opera or jazz. they just seem to do the trick.

K. M. Walton said...

I'm like Natalie and Regina - no music while I'm writing, unless it is classical (to drown out any noise from my kids/husband/life). But, on a perfect writing day...silence.

However, I love music and prefer it loud, especially in my car. I post all the time about my current favorite song(s) - I tend to love pop, but my tastes do have a broad range. Radiohead to Jay-Z. Go figure.

Rae said...

I do best to write in silence. I like listening to music though and many times it will trigger a mood within me that sends me off to write. I like most music, but the songs from the 50s and 60s inspire to write about nostalgic events.

Dawn VanderMeer said...

While I love writing in silence best, music totally inspires me. It sparks something inside and sets a mood. I agree--music makes cleaning less tasky.

L. T. Host said...

Strange, that was really cool :)

I can't listen to music when I'm writing, either. When I write it has to be silent, so I don't get to write much at home.

I haven't tried classical or instrumental, though. Regular music is distracting because of the lyrics, I think. I'll have to give instrumental a shot, which might not be a bad idea because my book is set in the 4th century, so there's not much regular music I can listen to that my characters would have, anyway. :)

Kathy said...

I listen to music when I'm cleaning to make it more bearable.

Other times I like it to be quiet, like when I go for my walks. I need to be able to think.

Karen said...

I can't believe I never thought of listening to the music my characters would listen to. That's a great idea.

And now I'm sort of thinking "theme songs" for my characters too.

Music is so powerful. It really can inspire you in many different ways!

Janna Qualman said...

I'm inspired by music, too; certain voices, a heavy beat, particular instruments - I really like any combination of guitar, strings or piano. If it moves me, it stirs my soul (corny as it sounds) and, in turn, my creativity.

I can't listen for extended periods (or have it on all day as background) though, like I used to, because I get sensitive to the noise and it can trigger a migraine. :(

Still, it's very important to me and my creative life.

Those are rockin' shoes! :P

Lily said...

Don't need to think about it... classical! Give me a thunderstorm and a good classical piano piece, and I'll write the best stuff!

Dominique said...

I love looking for the stories in music, and I find music to be a great source of inspiration.

The song I'm listening to right now contains the lyrics, "I hate that stupid,old pick-up truck you never let me drive." The first time I heard it, I thought, 'That's classic country,' because she's basically saying to her ex, 'I hate you, AND your car.' But I also think it would be a great line in a book, because it would say so much about their relationship. He was obviously withholding emotionally, and she's very angry and still hasn't forgiven him. And, yes, they're both Southern. :)

Girl in My Own World said...

Oh my goodness! I am a HUGE music freak! Maybe even more than I am about books! This post is so true. Music has always helped me get a visual picture for what I want to write about and since I want to do films as well one day it helps me see the movies scenes in my head! I love music of all kinds. My faves are Gospel, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Pop. Those shoes are interesting. I once had a pair of running shoes that you had to put batteries in and they were so uncomfortable! I took them back to the store and exchanged for comfy runnig shoes. It is a cool concept for a shoe, but I think that I will just stick to my mp3 player for the tunes. lol. Lovely Post! :o)

Robyn Campbell said...

I exercise with music, but I like the sounds of the farm and inside the house while writing. You know, family talking, TV blaring, stuff like that. I must be crazy. No wonder I'm writing crud right now. Huh? :)

Terri Tiffany said...

I exercise too with music but can't write at all with it on. I am to weird as I walk to Mama Mia and love musicals! I can see the action and it pumps me up!

Elizabeth McKenzie said...

Music is powerful in so many ways and a lot of scientific way,too. For instance, music can help Alzheimer victims, people who stutter can sing words perfectly. The brain uses different regions for music, if I remember rightly. I once wrote a speech about music, but that was years ago. Suffice it to say, there are deeper reasons music affects people than just the enjoyment of it. Lesson over.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Carolyn V. said...

I love music. There are some songs that make me dream and some that motivate me to do my running. I love them all. (except the ones that make me cry when I'm driving. Those I could do without.)

Tabitha Bird said...

I love music, but so far I really need my writing space to be quite to think. Okay, with two kids around it doesn't have to be dead quite, but songs just make me sing... not focus on writing

Tabitha Bird said...

Sorry, I meant quiet, not quiet. Damn, I cannot spell today :)

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh I give up...you know what I mean right :))

Leah Rubin said...

I get too caught up in the music to write well, but I can't clean/drive/cook/pay bills/exercise without it. Give me Broadway soundtracks, Ella Fitzgerald, the Beatles, or Motown-- I'm a happy camper. Oops, also Sting, Bonnie Raitt, and Mary J. Blige. I know. Eclectic-crazy.

Solvang Sherrie said...

My husband always cranks the music when we're cleaning. But when I'm writing, I like silence.

Lori said...

To me music is very inspiring because it makes me envy the artist. The way they can put their souls on notes. Then I immediately want to write, because that is my art.

Jill Kemerer said...

You're right. Cleaning isn't so bad when I have music on! And I've been singing along to "I've got a feeling" by Black Eyed Peas for the last few weekds!

Faith said...

You know... I can't really write while music is playing... no, let me rephrase. I can't write while music with English lyrics or lyrics I understand is playing, it's distracting. And I can't write while Arabic or Indian music is playing, because then my brain starts to create choreographies, which in itself is a kind of inspiration :) But for writing, I need either soft classical music or simply the sweet sounds of silence (er... and the hum of the computer... lol).

dirtywhitecandy said...

I couldn't write without music. To keep me focussed on a scene's mood while at the keyboard, to help me pin down what a scene is about, to pep up an action scene - Fatboy slim has saved many an action scene for me, he just gets me in a zany mood. Also I make soundtracks for my WIPs so I can go running and keep them in my head.

Oh, and I couldn't write without beautiful shoes, either! You should see my collection of indoor heels!