Music can be very influential to the writing process as I’ve mentioned before. For me, certain scenes or stories demand a specific kind of music. When I’m trying to get into a flow I usually put on something electronic like Amon Tobin, Pretty Lights, or Red Snapper.
It’s when I’m diving into stranger, darker waters that my musical tastes become more eclectic. These songs put me in an odd state of mind, hitting me more in the gut than the brain. Being in an off-balanced mood allows me to tackle pieces that I want to inject with more emotional context.
This is far from an all-encompassing list, but these songs have been rattling around my head and if I didn’t put them down into a post they were going to keep bouncing in my noggin.
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Momentum is one of the most powerful tools in your writing arsenal. It’s the rocket fuel that turns daunting tasks into achievable goals yet it’s incredibly hard to maintain. I’ve always struggled with my momentum pulling off bursts of activity, but never achieving long term consistency. It’s frustrating and depressing to think the one thing keeping me from my goals is the inability to sit in a chair for long periods of time. If only there were personal trainers for writers, yelling at you to push for ONE MORE PAGE until you’re left sweating and exhausted. Since that industry isn’t going to materialize overnight I need to come up with an alternative plan.
They say one should look to your mentors, see what they do, and try to replicate it. While not a mentor for me personally, Jerry Seinfeld has been incredibly successful in his creative endeavors for a very long time, something which many attribute to his work ethic. This work ethic was distilled into a single piece of advice he gave an aspiring comedian, “don’t break the chain.”
I face a constant struggle while pursuing writing as a full time career. The act of writing—butt in seat, words on a screen—is extremely solitary. You’re essentially playing with imaginary friends and recording their escapades. My natural proclivity is to be extremely social. It’s an asset in my day job as a consultant and at the core of who I am. These two sides of me don’t play well together. Right now, I’m sitting in my chair fighting the urge to reach out to friends via internet or text. Yet oftentimes when I do, I mentally kick myself for not putting more time into my writing. It’s a bitch of a balancing act.
I may be in the minority with my situation because it’s not something I’ve heard from many other writers. Their struggles tend to be carving time out of the day for writing. Even so, I think I’ve stumbled upon a coping mechanism that allows me the joys of interacting with another human being while still letting me dive deep into narrative structure, character development, and story arcs. Hopefully this approach may work for my fellow social butterflies who burn with a passion for storytelling.