Nov 082018
 

Lots of writers I know have a soundtrack for their work — a playlist that keeps them focused during the long hours of writing, editing and rewriting that goes into producing quality work. Others of us use different tricks to keep our minds from wandering. I’ve talked to several who, like me, are happy with some tried and true, old favorite movie or TV show on in the background. There are even those authors who crave silence but, since my freelance work took off back when I had a kid in elementary, I have no idea how I could make that adjustment.

There are even those authors who crave silence... Click To Tweet

 

Not long ago I chatted with another writer about the power of smells and songs to evoke powerful memories. It’s something editors often harp on, reminding us to “show don’t tell.” They know that the right snippet of sound can bring the reader into a time and place more quickly than any lengthy description.

 

 

The other day, just for fun, I checked in with readers on my Facebook page, asking which album they played over and over when they were younger. In honor of the day my 5th-grader came home, excited to tell me about the “amazing new group” he had heard, I posted the Sargeant Pepper album cover.

The response was fun. And interesting. And most of their postings came with a snippet of story: the first album bought with her own money, singing in front of the mirror with her sisters, making sure to own an LP in every single available format, and even taking pleasure in her parents’ music.

I heard from readers I know around town, some I only know online, and even a friend from high school. Most who responded were female and most around the same age. Their musical choices and the comments they shared painted a picture for me as well. Of the things we cared about. The things we worried about. And the music that made us feel less alone.

Their musical choices painted a picture of the things we cared about, our worries... Click To Tweet

And maybe that’s why so many writers thrive on a personal soundtrack — it’s a connection that makes them less alone.  Does your life have a soundtrack?

 

 

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  11 Responses to “The Soundtrack of Your Life”

  1. How lovely, I often play instrumental music when I work or write but I can see how playing an old favorite can invoke feelings that can help my writing, I will definitely try it.

  2. When I am beginning writing a piece, or am in the flow of writing, I prefer silence. If I am editing, or amending some writing, then music in the background can be relaxing, or energizing depending on my mood.

  3. With my wildly swinging pendulum of moods, I have several that I listen to. Sometimes it’s classical, other times jazz, and then there are the days head-bangin’ rock ‘n roll does the trick. But, mostly I enjoy opening the window and listening to mother nature sing her songs.

  4. Carol King was my soundtrack in my hippie youth – loved the 60’s/70’s music then and now. Writing as an adult, I find European music suits me. This way I don’t concentrate on the foreign words in the music yet find it soothing. Depending on my mood, I enjoy writing in the silence, as it allows my thoughts to flow freely. 🙂

  5. The first ebook in my Third Age Trilogy, “Song Of An Extraordinary Life,” uses song titles from the Baby Boomer era as chapter titles, each suggesting the subject for that chapter. I think music is what helps us to remember who we are.

  6. To be honest, I haven’t found that ultimate soundtrack yet, Andrea, but I can identify with songs that remind me of different times in my life when I experienced ‘significant defining moments’ that put life on a different track.

  7. Happily shared!I
    I enjoy a combo of silence first thing as I engage in my morning rituals. Then it’s Theta Wave music while I write. Sometimes, I play theme music to match the geograhi music of the chapter I’m writig. One day it was Cajun and the next Celtic tunes.
    Sorry I didn’t reply to your Monday Question; I’m on deadline to complete my book and get it to Beta-readers by Dec. 1.

  8. A definite parrot-head if I’ve ever met one.

  9. I live on an island. A short walk from the beach. I love oysters at the Salty Pelican and cold beer at Pajama Dave’s. Is it any wonder that my sound track since 1974 has been provided by Jimmy Buffett?

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