The Power of Music #ROW80 Update

My Goal: 1 hour, but minimum 30min of writing fiction during workdays and 2 hours any day I’m not working.

Previously on the ROW80 update, I mentioned getting a smart phone and it has proved to be a wonderful tool to waste time with.  Haven’t found any writing apps I like, but I did find an awesome comic book reading app.  Priorities.  Haven’t read the instructions much, just hitting buttons (Which explains why it took me two days to figure out the beeping it was doing was my email alert.) and seeing what happens.

My week wasn’t totally phone madness, I did write.  The chapter is going well.  This one is a complete rewrite because what I had originally no longer fit based on the changes I made in earlier chapters.  On Friday, it was going a little slow.  I decided to try out a writing playlist I’d been working on.  I told myself to give it a half hour more before calling it quits for the day.  When I put the music on, some switch in my head must’ve been flipped because I was off writing well beyond my half-hour until I was so hungry for lunch I had to stop.  I’m not sure what it was about this playlist except all the songs I picked have a lot of energy to them and I guess it put my mind in the right “zone” to be creative.  As a wise woman once said, “Yay to the Yay!” 

What gets you in the “zone”?  Is it music or something or someone else? 

Info stuff- Follow my ROW80 progress every Wednesday and Sunday and be here Tuesdays and Thursdays for new posts on me, writing, superheroes, monsters, comics and any other geeky stuff on my mind.

23 comments on “The Power of Music #ROW80 Update

  1. Good to see I’m not the only writer who relies on music 🙂 I have a playlist as well, mainly featuring bands like Within Temptation, Nightwish, Birthday Massacre, Live, Evanescence and Breaking Benjamin, with other random songs from various bands. I think because I write dark fantasy, this sort of music helps to get me into the right mood for writing the scenes I want to write.
    I also find it hard to write if I’m not jumped up on copious amounts of sugar 😀

    • My playlist is pretty all over the place too. Fuel, LL Cool J, Kate Nash, and Muse to name a few. There’s few things I do without music.

      I’ve heard of the sugar thing, maybe that will speed up my word output.

  2. Music, yes music…I really like to do the music thing too. It does seem to help. Maybe that is why I got so much done yesterday. I usually put on the Internet Radio and listen to anything from Hip Hop to New Age. The Hip Hop is for the Friends of Choice series. Oh and then there are the movie soundtracks when they are not playing spooky enough music for the story line I’m working on.

    • I have a friend that only writes to movie scores. He likes to imagine the film version of his work while he writes. That would never work for me, I’d end up thinking about the movie more than what I was doing. Lol.

  3. Reading keeps me writing. Music and noise I find drowns out the words in my head.

    • You wouldn’t be the first writer to like some quiet with your writing time. I think music has the opposite effect on me and actually makes me more focused. As long as we know what works, right?

  4. Andrew, as someone joining the IPad cult, I totally relate to your smartphone joy 🙂 Gadgets are sososo easy to stay ‘in’. Sounds like you stuck to your plan despite the seduction – way to go!!

    Last week I started using playlists also – based on the lonelier edges of the story, and the impending pitfalls (plot-falls? plot-holes, pratfalls?) for my MC. Neko Case, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, P J Harvey, and Modest Mouse are amazingly ‘right’ for writing, but I still stick with Sigur Ros for plotting and thinking. I feel quite the old fogey typing those names…. Andrew, what’s on your playlist?

    • I love this phone. I’m on my lunch hour making these replies. Way easier than lugging around my laptop.

      As for my playlist? I left some on Rebecca’s reply, but a few more I remembered are Florence and the Machine, Crystal Method, and Jason Mraz. I know there’s more rock, but I can’t remember. I also want add some classic stuff like Boston and Heart.

  5. Glad you found what motivates you. I love listening to music, but not while I’m writing. I do find that songs get stuck in my head for certain situations in the book and I use them to set the mood for the characters.

    I’m always on my phone too. I use it for Twitter and keep it turned off on my desktop. That way, I can still pop into Twitter – but don’t have the distraction of messages scrolling by on my laptop as I write.

    • That’s interesting, using songs to later put you in the right mood. Never would’ve crossed my mind to do. Pretty cool.

      Everyday I learn something cool my phone does. It’s already paying off by letting me respond to these awesome comments sooner than later.

  6. Yay to yay indeed. I love those out-of-nowhere inspirations that can take us deeper into the woods than we ever intended.

    I still have a Razor phone and get kidded about it being a dinosaur. Sad when a phone that’s maybe 3 yrs old is a dinosaur but it underscores just how fast technology is changing…and how distracting it can be.

    • My old phone was younger than yours and still felt like a dinosaur. But I held off on getting a smart phone because I couldn’t justify a need for it simply to have a new “toy”. As I’ve become more active on the computer, it really felt like I was buying a tool to help me be more productive. Of course once you’ve got it, the time wasting apps attack from all sides.

  7. I have trouble writing while listening to music but don’t seem to have a problem writing listening to my son’s video games in the background. Mario, sonic. de Blob. No problem. Weird! 🙂

  8. Yay to the yay. I like it!
    I have to be a guerilla writer – be able to write anyplace at anytime. As a mom, I take any time I can get. But in the best of times all I need is quiet and my hair pulled back. Then I can attack the story. 🙂

    • Ah, I’ve met many of your kind (Moms) through blogs and twitter. I salute you! It keeps me very motivated to know so many people have way more going on than me in the responsibility department and get writing accomplished.

      And if you’d like to read more catchy phrases like “Yay to the yay.”, check out YA author, Stacey Wallace Benefiel. She’s the wise woman I spoke of.

  9. I used to always write in silence, but lately I’ve been listening to a hard rock radio station as I write. There’s just something about bands like Tool, Disturbed, Alice in Chains, and ACDC that goes along with the action in my current project. I like this particular station (from a nearby town that I can barely tune in sometimes), because they PLAY MUSIC–GOOD MUSIC. And, they don’t freakin’ talk all the time. I have to hole up in my cave upstairs late at night to do this, though. Otherwise, I’d have Spongebob Squarepants or a military video game as my background soundtrack.

    • Ugh, Spongebob.

      It’s great you found a rock station, I thought they’d all gone extinct. Definitely good zombie fighting music and you got me thinking of adding those guys to my playlist.

  10. My timewaster is Angry Birds. I. Cannot. Stop. Playing. It’s ridiculous, really. I look up and four hours have passed.

    Like ellieswords, I am a guerilla writer. Any second I can find, I’m writing (when I’m not playing Angry Birds, that is). My backdrop is usually COPS or some form of detective show (just by the default of being in the family room with the television), but what I really prefer is dark, emotional classical music. It sets that Gothic horror mood like nothing else. Throw in some really emotional songs (Evanescence has a few great ones) and I’m really in the groove.

    • Have you checked out We Are The Fallen? It’s made up of ex-members of Evanescence, including Ben Moody, with a new singer. I like it. You might also like Poe or Florence and the Machine. The singing is packed with emotion that just hits me every time I put them on.

      And I looked up Angry Birds. So simple, yet I’m seriously thinking of getting the app. I don’t know if I could handle it.

  11. Kudos to you for getting any work done with a new smartphone on your hands! I have to look for mine (it’s literally pointless for me to even own a phone as I don’t make phonecalls and let the kids run off with it and hide it) because I kinda miss Twitter. Shocking.

    I have to listen to music. Have to. I sing along as I’m writing, it’s very sad. On my laptop, I play a youtube playlist, because I’m too lazy to sort out anything else. 200 songs – Imelda May, Adele, Led Zeppelin, LL Cool J, GangStarr, Simon & Garfunkel, Bad Company, Ash, Travis, UB40, Kate Bush, Aaliyah, Ms. Dynamite, Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, Muse (essential, seriously), Amy Winehouse, even songs from Buffy. I could go on but I’ll stop before I get too over-excited. 😀

    I’m on a nostalgic 90’s music buzz right now, in particular. It’s my birthday this month and my OH keeps reminding me I’m getting old so I’m retreating to my youth. 😉

    • Your playlist is just as schizophrenic as mine. Maybe more so. 🙂 From the 90’s, Weezer and Garbage are a couple of favorites. They made it to the writing playlist.

      And you write about vampires and other spooky stuff. That’ll keep you young forever.

      When’s your birthday? I can plug the date into my phone and see if it reminds me to wish you a happy one.

      • I love Weezer and Garbage too. Buddy Holly is one of my all-time favourite songs.

        It’s the 24th, think that’s the last day of this round of ROW80 so I’ll be free to celebrate a little. Maybe. If the kids let me. LOL.

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