The Writer's Den

UCLA's creative writing student group

Music and Writing

5 Comments

Whenever I’m having trouble trying to find the words for my story, I do one of two things:

  1. I shave my legs
  2. I listen to music

Both work. Miraculously. As soon as my legs are smooth/patch worked with razor cuts or as soon as I’m plugged into music, the words suddenly start flowing out of me again. Writer’s block instantly gone.

Since I’m not really keen on spending a whole blog post talking about the art of leg shaving (which I have not yet perfected—I can never really get all the little hairs off of those pesky knees), I’m going to tell you a couple of ways I use music to write. And maybe it’ll help you…maybe.

1)      PLAYLISTS. PLAYLISTS. PLAYLISTS

My goodness, I love playlists. I make playlists for everything. I find it particularly helps to create playlists for each of my characters. You’ve got a melancholy character? Fill that playlist with melancholy songs and listen to it whenever you’re writing about that character. If you really want to get into it, you can also create playlists for certain scenes. Or a playlist for moods your character is in. The possibilities are endless, people!

2)      Movie soundtracks

You really liked the feel of that movie you watched? You want your writing to have a similar mood? Listen to that movie soundtrack as you’re writing and you’ll be able to capture that mood a lot better.

3)      Create a piece of writing FROM a song

If I’m really REALLY struggling and not sure what kind of scene I want to write next, I’ll pick a random song from my library and try to craft a scene based on that song.

So, go and put your headphones in now. I promise it’ll help. And if you don’t think your Itunes library is big enough, download Spotify and you’ll have access to pretty much any song you can think of for FREE. And it’s legal. So do it.

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5 thoughts on “Music and Writing

  1. I smiled at the leg-shaving part, because it’s so true. And the music part as well. It’s like you read my mind =P

  2. Pingback: “…but I don’t know what to write about.” « The Writer's Den

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