The Soundtrack to your Writing Career

Welcome to July, everyone! We’ve gotten through one month… let’s see how the rest go from here.

Music is powerful. We are all aware of this, even if we aren’t avid listeners. Music helps get us through a lot, if you listen to it correctly. The right kind of music can act as a warm, tight hug if you’re depressed… it can be a shot of energy and motivation to get us through a long work out, or even cleaning up.
Music is a important part of humanity in of itself.

One of the best things that music can do, is act as inspiration. Even for unrelated things, music can be the push, the pull, the inspiration and the idea… and that’s our topic for today.

The Soundtrack to your Writing Career. The right kind of music for the right kind of time.
But because you know me a bit more than I know you, I’m going to have to go all out on the personal preferences and experiences thing. So if you disagree, or dislike, keep in mind that this is what helps me… and what might help you.

Plus, you’re probably going to learn about my taste in music. I listen to what I like when I write, so I fit my tastes around my work. So this might be DRASTICALLY different when it comes to you, but if you see an idea or suggestion you like, go on and try it.

Typically, when writing a genre or chapter, I try to match the music to the writing. And what is sometimes even harder is matching the music to poetry. Seeing as both of them have a flow, finding one that interconnects enough can be a daunting task.
For The Next Day, I am currently writing the second collection which comes together as a cohesive story, perhaps as an opera or play of some sort. So what I’ve been listening to for that is a wonderful album by the band, Forgive Durden called Razia’s Shadow.

Razia’s Shadow is the soundtrack to a musical without a play or movie to accompany it. It is absolutely gorgeous, and it works so well!
It has a lot going for it. It goes slow, and heavy. Sweet, and mean. It can get very powerful and commanding, then turn down the volume and fall very meek.
All of this gives me PLENTY of thought and flow that works just well with the emotion I am going for, for this collection.

Now, if I’m doing something that is kind of nonsensical, or sort of thought-provoking and hidden in metaphors, there is a couple things I can do.
I’ve listened to the Beatles for some of it, usually their Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour days. That is FANTASTIC if I’m really writing a sort of nonsense wrapped in bacon of meaning.
Another thing that does it well, to a lesser extent, is Panic! At The Disco’s album Pretty. Odd. This album is strange, quirky, and beautiful all at once. I’ve used this album for a lot of my sort of love, or happy relationship poetry. The flow of the music, and the beat in which it is pulled along… makes for some of the best happy nonsense I’ve heard.
Refer to my poem, What a match, I’m half-doomed and you’re semi-sweet for an example of that sort of writing.

I also like a lot of Pink Floyd. I listen to their music if I’m writing something with political or social undertones, or sometimes for depression poems.  They do both of those quite well. I particularly enjoy the albums Dark Side of the MoonThe Division Bell, The Wall, and A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

Lastly, when I want something heavy, full of angst, or just something really hard, I go to a few places.
I enjoy My Chemical Romance for a lot of those times. I listened to my fair share of them when I wrote The Industry Standard from my last book, because they were both rather dark and heavy.
Also, Nirvana. It’s more of a classic angst, which does a great deal different then MCR. While My Chemical Romance does the depressed hard rock, Nirvana did the rebellious hard rock. It sounds more raw, it sounds more… I don’t know, more ready for a fight. And that can do a great deal when you lack the energy or will to write like that. If you have a backing track by Nirvana, you’ll get tossed in the whirlwind yourself.

Music can do a great deal when it comes to your writing. It’s almost like having a second author, fueling your own work and tag-teaming in with their own ideas when you get too tired. It can show you what could be better and what could have more emotion. Music is truly something that gives a lot, and asks for no more then a little listen every now and again.
I think some people have started to have a certain lack of respect for music after a while. We see a lot of these modern artists, and we see the musical art deteriorating. I mean, a long time ago, even rap was a respectable music with good themes and good sounds. Now, we’ve let what used to be the unwanted, spoiled fruit of the bunch rise up and take control. Now it is feeling like ALL music is doing that.

I love metal music. But here’s the thing, when I say metal, I think of Motley Crue, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Dio… now we have replaced a good deal of metal with the god awful screamo. The demonic bastard son of one hundred maniacs.

Where did all the good music go? Well, we still have some. There are bands out there that try, even new ones. Bastille is FANTASTIC, and they’re fairly new. Of Monsters and Men has been around for a couple of years, same thing with Florence and the Machine.

Good music is out there. Some people don’t realize it, but it is. What we need to do, though, is take the music that deserves the spotlight and actually put it in it, and leave the shady, no effort, redundant tunes and put it in a dark alley where only people that want to take the risk have to go.

I think that really ends my points, both of them.
So next time you sit down to write, think about your soundtrack. What will go in it, and how to make it fit.
Trust me, it will be worth it.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 11:23 AM


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