Music for a Writer’s Ears

My non-writer friends often ask me:

“Do you get writer’s block?” (Who doesn’t?)

“How do you just sit down and write? (Chair? Check.)

Or,

“What do you really do when you’re writing?” (Um…)

But let’s talk about writer’s block, shall we? I’ve heard all the remedies: just write words on a page; skip around your chair for a while; perform a tight-rope routine; etc.

Truthfully, I think the solution depends on the person. (Don’t you love advice like that?) However, I’m going to tell you what I use to combat a certain form of writer’s block that I like to call fear.

That’s right, fear. You know the scene. It’s a big one—a really big one. Who knows where it is in your story except for you? It could be the opening scene that you’ve waited until now to write. It could be the climax. It could be the end. It could be a dream sequence. It could be any scene.

The best way that I’ve gotten through that apprehension that stops your fingers from typing or your hand from scribbling on the paper is—cue the drum roll—music! As I work on a project and get a feel for my characters, for the world erected between the lines, I simultaneously construct a playlist.

Eventually, this playlist becomes crucial for the writing process. Why? Because inevitably, I slow. (Which law of physics is that?) My writing bottlenecks when I get to a certain point, and it takes everything out of me to put a few sentences on the page. So, how do I continue?

M-U-S-I-C. I know the scenes I want to write, but the filter that runs from my brain to my fingers has shut off. To jump my dead battery, I need music.

You need to curate your playlist. A song that describes your character to you, whatever that may be. Perhaps you see it as a clip from a movie or a TV show. What would their theme song be? Perhaps you’re writing a space opera and a bit of the Interstellar soundtrack can get you moving.

Every story is different, every character unique, every scene its own. Find the music that helps you through and get back to writing!

Published by

Alex Perrone

Recent graduate of the University of Georgia, Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts in Entertainment and Media Studies and Romance Languages. A citizen of the world, he enjoys his studies but often shirks responsibility and writes into the night. While not crafting plot threads or tinkering with sentences, Alex loves trying new food, damn good TV, and endless conversations.

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