On Writing : I can't write without music...can you? by Isabeau Vollhardt

Isabeau Vollhardt

I can't write without music...can you?

So I'm working on TheCasebookOfElishaGrey vol IX (what???? I so did not plan that, but the characters did) and when I write, I'm under the headphones. I've got a whole basket of playlists on my youtube channel Cinnabarswan1 and this is what i just listened to while getting to this page. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHZXJJN4_Mg&list=PLRTMxK2N7p2glcOxg-yxPR... and I'm going to dance it off to another playlist later because...all writers need some exercise. Love my Koss headphones. Glad I'm able to dance (2 years ago, didn't look like it would be that way....but I get better every day). Especially when I'm feeling like things are just going way down south....music brings me back.

WL Wright

I love silence with a few bird tweets now and then.

Elisabeth Meier

Music would make me nervous and is like a clock ticking in the background. A song is how long? 3 minutes? I would never get into the flow but count the songs and the time... :)) I live on the country side, hence, I love the silence and the the birds singing too.

Isabeau Vollhardt

i hope both of you have a place to put bird feeders where you will be guaranteed bird song! I use music to block sudden noises, because I have PTSD, since childhood. When I choose music, I choose it for a mood, and once i'm writing....it's background, and it masks sudden noises that I would have to respond to in the moment and may not be worth the response at all (say, a robo call....there's less of those now but they're still there). Any writer needs the right atmosphere for them to write.

Liz Randol

getting a hummingbird feeder this week! the birds calm me down..

Isabeau Vollhardt

Liz, just so you know....hummies will totally bust your ass if the diner is not to their liking! They are stunningly beautiful flurries of tiny fierceness. They will know who you are, they will know you live. They will look at you through your window (i've had all this happen). Don't know what your weather is at right now, but just use plain sugar, get a feeder that has red on it. Ratio for feed: 1 sugar 4 water when it's hot; 1 sugar 3 water when it's mild; 1 sugar 2 water when it gets around freezing at night; and 1 to 1 ratio when it goes below freezing. They have high metabolism. When flowers aren't in bloom yet, they'll rely on feeders. Also check them & keep them clean, because as it gets warmer...mold likes to grow in them. I LOVE watching them. Oh. They will TOTALLY buzz you when you're putting out a fresh feeder. Don't take it personally. They're just letting you know you're their waitress!

Frank Blaney

I am with you on that. I usually crank some instrumental African music or some jamming Baroque. Sets my minds at ease, gets my feet tapping and my fingers tapping the keys. Goes for all genres of writing, non-fiction and screenplays. Thanks for confessing for us.

Isabeau Vollhardt

hi Frank -- if you've got any suggestions for me for my playlists....hey, let me know!

Richard "RB" Botto

I wish I had this brain chip...I'm envious. I have a hard time writing with music. There has been an exception or two. I embrace the quiet.

Isabeau Vollhardt

well, maybe don't wish that....i relied on music because it drowned out my dad's voice (he was abusive). it was a way i created sanctuary in my room, and from that, i discovered it was a way to create mood and open emotions while i write (which means that, yes, sometimes, i get a bit yclempt and have to pause and listen to, even sing along, with what's playing). That being said....I can't do it to the radio. I need to make my own playlists because...what happened with music these days anyway? Only one verse? Autotune. Yeah. call me a music snob. look at my playlists....70s prog rock are all over them.

Elisabeth Meier

Isabeau Vollhardt I'm so sorry for what you had to experience and I think many writers and other creative people experienced violence in their childhood. So there is a reason for the need of music. But I also figured out that I can calculate better and get my bookkeeping easier and faster done with classical music. Mozart's music works best then. They say his music always follows our human heartbeat and that is why it calms you down.

Isabeau Vollhardt

Mozart was a student of Hayden...Beethoven wanted to study with Mozart (but life intervened)...there are some martial artists who play Beethoven in their dojos/daojias....they're all perfect. Thanks for acknowledging that we as a community have often had violence in childhood. I think I need to construct another playlist now...all classical....you got me going!

S.B. Goncarova

I love writing to ASMR sounds of rain, snow falling, fire crackling... any of these puts me into the zone for hours!

Isabeau Vollhardt

those sound like great options....that's what i sometimes will use for meditation....

Dimary Hernandez

I also like to use music to write. I actually get a lot of ideas from songs.

Stefano Pavone

Me too - progressive rock (Genesis, Led Zeppelin, and even Queen) are my go-to artists. :)

Debbie Croysdale

I'm with RB on this one, I absolutely have to have no background noise unless I'm writing for fun and then can write anywhere. I envy people who can do serious writing with music or any other noise. People know not to walk in the room if I'm working on a screenplay. I need the characters and their locations to be the only sound in my head. Keep safe @All.

Richard P. Alvarez

I have different playlists for each genre. All instrumental. Except for the Christmas Carols while I was writing my Family Holiday script. Good noise cancelling Bose head phones a must!

Isabeau Vollhardt

Dimary, Stefano, and Richard -- what really gets me is that when i choose a playlist (i've got a bunch of them) they influence the mood of my characters and how they interact with one another. I have absolutely no explanation for this phenomenon. None. For those interested, go to my channel at Youtube -- cinnabarswan1 and see if there's a playlist that works for you, or is a springboard for your own playlists....

Stefano Pavone

I know exactly what you mean, Isabeau - only too well. :)

Dea Divi

Yes and no depending on what it is

Isabeau Vollhardt

Dea, I agree....I always choose my music depending upon which story i'm writing....i've got a new idea for what will be my 2nd screenplay, so i'll be looking for music that was on the radio locally at that time.

Liz Randol

fabuloso idea. just seeing this. hoping it can get me past my writers' block on this latest story. I would consider drinking to loosen me up but music sounds more productive. thanks!

H. W. Freedman

The only time I wrote with music was when I worked on my play about Tchaikovsky and his life. Otherwise the music comes from me in the form of the thread of dramatic tension and the emotional rhythm of the characters and dialogue. I prefer nature in silence or sometimes a noisy cafe for rewrites, but never someone else's music in my ears. I knew many artists who could only write or paint with music and drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Kendra MmcLaughlin

Yes! I completely agree. Music allows me to enter into that part of my brain that receives. Great comment.

Danesha Artis

It really depends what I'm listening to and what I might be writing. I actually have playlists built up for moods too.

Izzibella Beau

I either write to music or listen to songs prior to get the scenes figured out in my head.

Isabeau Vollhardt

sometimes i'll also choose music to listen to in the car while on errands between writing days....

Eric Sollars

I often write to music. I'll listen to Johnny Cash's Ghost Riders in the Sky when I have a character on the edge and they know it. I'll listen to American Pie when I have a character that laments past friends. I listen to Bryan Adams' Summer of '69 when I write about my teens. Bonnie Taylor's Holding Out For a Hero is good for a strong hero in my stories. Doom stories call for The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Missing the one I love calls for They Call The Wind Maria.

William 'JPop' Schumpert

“Jazz is a drug. And I’m addicted.” -Ralph Bakshi

Isabeau Vollhardt

Eric, so many of those songs i listened to in my childhood. What's amazing is that you listed The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Gordon Lightfoot considers it the best song he ever wrote; he use the myxolidian mode, and although he had to shape the details to make the rhymes, in large part, his rendition was right. it's a great example of how a writer honors the dead.

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