musicchoicesDid I Write This Week?

I sure did! If you zoom in on that picture you can in fact see exactly what I wrote! The 18th part of my Zombie story. In theory, it was supposed to end at Part 19, but based on a few last minute revelations and the natural length Part 18 (which wrapped up somewhere around 1200 words) I’ve discovered that I’ll probably end up with 20 parts (or chapters or whatever). Which is nice. 20 parts seems like a much nicer number to end on. If all goes well I’ll have this whole thing wrapped up in the next week or two and will start releasing one or two parts a week while I figure out how to convert the whole thing into an e-book to give away to you for free! Won’t that be exciting! Everyone likes free things. Probably.

What’s Up With Writing This Week?

Finding the right music to write is a huge pain in the ass.

Sometimes I’ll take 10-15 minutes of just clicking through playlists on Google Play Music before I can actually settle down to write anything. It’s strange how much of an impact on my creativity the right song choices can have.

The first thing I try to do is to think about the tone of what I’m about to write. Now that I’ve worked out my story progression and I have a rough idea of what is going to happen in the part that I’m writing, I generally know the gist of what I’m going to be shooting for. For St-Brigid I tend towards a lot of 90’s Grunge Rock, but that’s not always the rule.

Lyrics can also be tricky. Sometimes I’ll get too wrapped up in listening to the lyrics of a song and just stop typing altogether. That’s not good for anybody. So yeah, I open up Google Play Music (because that’s who I signed up with ok, they’ve got all my preferences so that’s who I’m going to stay with forever) and start clicking around. Curated playlists, albums of artists I like, new releases. Whatever I think might sound like something I want to hear for the next hour or two while I hammer out some words.
Often I’ll use the “create a radio station” feature based on a particular song. Since sometimes I know exactly what I want to listen to, but it’s only a 3 or 4 minute song. That’s not really going to work for an hour long writing session (or longer). So I trust the algorithms. What a time to be alive.

Usually it goes something like this: mess around with the albums I’ve been listening to lately to see if there’s anything that fits the vibe that I think I’m going for, listen to it for about a minute and get frustrated that it’s not clicking. Repeat until I lock into something I like.

Anyhow, I have no idea if everyone listens to music if they write, but I find that it can really motivate you when you get the right matchup of music and subject matter. When I click into that magic zone I have so much more output.

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

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