Recently, my short story “Scarecrow” appeared in the anthology Song Stories Volume 1. The premise of this anthology was to publish stories inspired by songs. I have long used music as a way of helping me get into the writing mood. This is not unique to me; many writers do the same thing.
I have a specific playlist saved on my computer that is for writing only. It is a motley crew of songs (which contains no Motley Crue by the way). The majority of the music there is stuff that puts me into a particular mood. I write the best when I’m in what I call an “October Mood”. I call it this because I feel this way in the month of October. I have always had a longing feeling of being alone in October. When you are outside in the dusk of autumn, you might notice how every sound seems so far away. That’s how I like to feel when I write.
My writing list includes songs that bring about that very specific feeling of melancholy. The majority of my playlist for writing is made up of grunge and post grunge songs from the 1990’s. Nostalgia is another way I achieve my October feeling, and those songs take me back to high school and college. It’s not unusual to come into my basement, which is also my office, library, den, gym, and cat’s bathroom, and hear “1979” by the Smashing Pumpkins or “Fall With Your Knife” by Peter Murphy.
There are other songs that give me the October feeling. Slow classic rock songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s do the same thing. I’ve been known to have the Zombie’s “Time of the Season” or Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” playing as well. Then there are songs from movies that give me that October feeling. I have a version of the theme song from Deep Red by Dario Argento.
All in all, I use music to write. I very rarely sit down to write and not have music. Besides the fact that I like writing in my October feeling, I also like the background noise that music provides. After I begin writing, the music fades into the background. I don’t even notice it, but subliminally, it keeps me pacing along.
I use music to find my October feeling and to maintain it during my writing sessions. Sometimes I use it to motivate me to write as well, but that is a blog for another day.